Installing Dropbox to a common location for both operating systems

I already have Dropbox installed Windows and don’t want a separate installation on my Linux partition taking up additional space (my SSD is 256GB, but that space is used up surprisingly quickly)

In theory, this should be straightforward; just install Dropbox on the Linux partition and point it at the Dropbox folder on my Windows partition.  However, some pre-installation Googling revealed that it’s not that easy. Followed the wonderful instructions on Gain Oloya’s blog.

Turns out, the very first step in the process doesn’t actually involve Dropbox at all!  I had to set up Ubuntu to automount my Windows partition, since Ubuntu doesn’t do this by default.  Otherwise, when the computer is started, Dropbox runs and can’t find the Dropbox folder because it exists on a partition that is inaccessible to Ubuntu (until that partition is accessed by the user).

Happily, there is a sort of graphical user interface (GUI) to add items/programs/commands to Ubuntu’s start up list: Startup Applications.  This is easily accessed by pressing the “Windows” key on the keyboard (or clicking the Ubuntu button in the sidebar) and searching for Startup Applications.

Once in Startup Applications, just press the “Add” button, enter a name and description for your application in the appropriate fields and then enter the following command in the “Command” field:

/usr/bin/udisks --mount /dev/disk/by-uuid/X

Replace the “X” in the above code with your Windows partition’s Universally Unique Identifier (UUID; a.k.a. drive label).  It’s probably worth restarting the computer at this point.

How do you find the UUID? There are a few ways:

  1. Right-click on the drive in Files (the file drawer icon on the Launcher), select “Properties” and the UUID will be listed under the “Basic” tab next to “Name.”

2.  If your drive is shown on the Launcher, click the drive icon to open that drive and the UUID will be listed at the top of the window:



3.  Launch Terminal (can be found usingthe built-in search described earlier) and enter: sudo blkid
Enter your user password and you’ll get something like this:
samb@Mephisto: ~_004

Identify the correct drive and copy the UUID.


Now, finally, on to Dropbox!

Downloaded and installed Dropbox from the Ubuntu Software Center.

After installation completed (but before going through the Dropbox set up procedure), this window popped up:


It seems like I should press the “Restart Nautilus” button, but instead I pressed the “Next” button.  This initiated the Dropbox setup procedure.  I entered my account info and selected “Advanced Installation,” which allows you to select where to install the Dropbox folder on your system.  Navigated to the directory on my Windows partition where my current Dropbox folder exists; don’t navigate beyond this (i.e. into your existing Dropbox folder).  Dropbox notified me that there’s an existing Dropbox folder.  Just cruised through the rest of the setup wizard.  Dropbox started syncing and doing so without duplicating files!


Installing programs the easy way (no Terminal)

Did some Googling and identified a screen capture tool (Shutter) and a clipboard manager (Diodon).  Then, just searched for them in the Ubuntu Software Center (this is installed with the Ubuntu OS) and downloaded and installed both.

Couldn’t have been easier!  Admittedly, it’s pretty sweet having an entire app repository to search (which Windows doesn’t have).

Next up: installing Dropbox to utilize a common location for both operating systems…

The programs I need

Off the top of my head:

A clipboard manager – Can’t do all the upcoming code copying/pasting without one!

A screen capture tool – One that allows for quick, easy annotation like Skitch.

IPython – An interactive, web-based notebook that allows “recording” and execution of command line (as well as a plethora of other programs like Python and R) programs.

NCBI Standalone BLAST – Used for comparing unknown sequences (nucleotide, proteins) with known sequences.

Dropbox – Synced, cloud-based file storage and sharing.  This will be interesting because I already have Dropbox installed on my Windows partition and I don’t want duplicates of all my files.  Will try to link the Ubuntu Dropbox installation to the Windows Dropbox folder.  Will cover this in a separate post.

Why Try Linux?

The labs I’m in have, by necessity, started to require a fairly heavy use of bioinformatics tools.  Despite a many of these tools being freely available and having nice user interfaces wholesale mlb jerseys (see Free Bioinformatics Tools), some basic file manipulation is still lacking.  Additionally, many of these tools have different file formatting requirements, for which there is no intermediate tool to make the conversion.  And, to make Dual things even more confusing (and painful), is that some tools are 0-based and others are 1-basedwholesale nba jerseys Finally, many of the files we work with are so large that they cannot be opened and manipulated with any standard spreadsheet program.

It turns out that one of the Knee best means for manipulating large datasets for file formatting conversions is the good, wholesale nfl jerseys old. tried-and-true command line.  Which most of us in the lab try to avoid like the plague.  Alas, we can avoid the command line no longer, and trying to For perform many of the actions I need/want to (like sed, awk and Python) are not natively built in to Windows, but they are in Linux!

Sure, I tried using Cygwin as a means to utilize Linux-like commands, but, as almost everyone in lab uses Macintosh computers (which, have almost all the same native command line programs cheap nfl jerseys as Linux), it on became too difficult to try to share with each other because I couldn’t Post just copy their commands and vice versa, due to file/directory path structures differing in Cygwin and Macs.

Since I am not in the market to buy a Macintosh, Linux is the next best thing (as far as I could tell) to allow me to utilize and learn command line.

Dual booting Windows 7 & Ubuntu (13.10)

Decided to do this via USB drive.  Backed up my computer using the built in Windows tool, changed BIOS settings on my computer to boot from USB and then proceeded.

Seemed straightforward when looking at this page:

Install did not go smoothly, as I was only prompted with installing Ubuntu inside the other operating system, as opposed to alongside.  Long story short (primarily because I Pizza can’t remember the specifics) is that I had too many existing partitions (4 partitions) on the hard drive (HDD).

Using the Linux Live USB, I utilized gParted cheap nfl jerseys (an utility designed for hard drive partition manipulation that comes on the Linux Live USB) to delete the “Recovery” partition of my HDD.  However, this posed another issue because the “Recovery” partition was separated from my main HDD partition by another “hidden” partition (i.e. not visible in Windows) and this was preventing me from expanding my main HDD partition to take up the unallocated space (~20 GBs cheap jerseys of space; which is nearly 10% wholesale jerseys of my HDD, which is a SSD) of the deleted “Recovery” partition.  I couldn’t let all that space be wasted, so I did some Googling and discovered that this mystery partition is related to Intel’s fast boot hibernation something or other for computers with SSDs.  What did I do?

Well, I deleted that too and expanded my main independizarte HDD partition to include the unallocated “Recovery” and “fast boot” partitions.  Kinda scary, but the computer still runs fine!

The cheap nba jerseys rest ROXY of the install went smoothly and now I have a functional, dual booting computer running Windows 7 Professional and Ubuntu 13.10!  And, with an SSD, switching OSes simply by restarting the computer is really fast!

Time to actually try Linux!

The hardware:

Samsung New 9 Series
Intel® Core™ i7-3517U CPU @ 1.90GHz × 4