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:

B0FE4B1FFE4ADD6A_003

 

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:

Dropbox_Restart_Nautilus

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!