Note: this wiki is no longer maintained. If you have any questions related to this wiki, please post them on the CrunchBang forums.

Translations of this page?:

Z-obsolete Dropbox (English)

#! features a Dropbox pipe-menu in Openbox, so the instructions are not needed for users of recent releases (Statler/Waldorf).

This Howto is partly based on corenominals post in this forum thread and by pbsMind's respond in post #20.

When you've finished this howto, by following it step by step, you should have a working Dropbox.


First off, what is Dropbox? Well, according to the Dropbox website:

Dropbox is the easiest way to share and store your files online.

Having tried Dropbox myself, I have to agree that it is pretty sweet, and that is coming from a guy who runs rsync everyday. Anyway, if you are interested, you can find out more at:

The problem with Dropbox, from the perspective of a CrunchBang Linux user, is that it is developed to be used in conjunction with the Nautilus file manager. Nautilus is great, but it is not particularly well suited to a lightweight Openbox environment. No fear, by following the instructions in this howto, you should be able to get Dropbox working under Openbox without having to invoke Nautilus, at least not once the main installation is complete.

Remember once the installation is complete, we will not actually be calling on Nautilus, so system performance should not be affected.

Get registered

Before you start, you should be registered here here.
When you've recieved a mail from Dropbox, you can continue this Howto.


  1. Extract and move .dropbox-dist to ~/.dropbox-dist

A fake Nautilus script

We will now create a fake Nautilus script, which will in fact launch pcmanfm (or Thunar depending which release of crunchbang you are using or personal preference) when Dropbox requests it. We will placing the script in ~/bin. If you have deleted this directory, you will need to recreate it and ensure that ~/bin is in your $PATH and before /usr/bin. When ready, open a terminal and enter the following command:

touch ~/bin/nautilus && chmod +x ~/bin/nautilus && gedit ~/bin/nautilus &

Paste the following into the new file to use pcmanfm:

exec pcmanfm $@
exit 0

Alternatively, paste the following into the new file to use thunar:

exec thunar ~/Dropbox
# exec thunar $@ doesn't work as thunar doesn't allow --no-desktop option
exit 0

Save the file and exit.

Make dropbox start at login

We now need to set-up Openbox so that it will automatically start the Dropbox daemon when we login.


Enter the following terminal command:

gedit ~/.config/openbox/ &

And add the following lines to the end of the file:

# Just in case some random app calls on Nautilus, lets set some safeguards to minimise the impact:
# Disable Nautilus desktop, because we really really do not want it!
gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop false &
# Do not let Nautilus set the background, because we really really do not want this either.
gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/background/draw_background false &
# Make Nautilus use spatial mode, should start-up quicker.
gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/always_use_browser false &
# Make Nautilus show the advanced permissions dialog -- if it has to start, lets at least make it usable :) 
gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_advanced_permissions true &
# And finally...
# ...start dropbox daemon, but give it a minute so we can establish a net connection.
(sleep 60s && ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd) &

Some gconf settings is included so that if some random application actually calls on /usr/bin/nautilus, the resulting fallout should be minimal.

Save the file and exit.


Add the following application command under Settings - Sessions and Startup - Application Autostart:

bash -c "(sleep 5s && ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd) &"

Reboot and login

Reboot your system.

After login and about one minute (or so), a window will pop up and you will be able to log in at the Dropbox server space. The Dropbox icon in your systray will provide you with some more options.

You should now have a working Dropbox without having to invoke Nautilus :-)

howto/howto_setup_dropbox.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/24 06:56 by machinebacon
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license:CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Powered by DokuWiki. Hosted by Linode.
Copyright © 2010 CrunchBang Linux.
Proudly powered by Debian GNU/Linux.
Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.