Dropbox is a very popular multiplatform file-sync service. It offers 2 GB of free online storage, which you could extend upto 8 GB by successfully inviting friends to use the service (250 MB of additional space per successful invite). Dropbox syncs the files in a particular folder that you specify with your online storage. But what if you want to run multiple Dropbox instances simultaneously accessing different accounts? Here is how you can achieve it :
What Dropbox does is to create configuration files in your Home folder with information about your account. It does not allow multiple account configuration in the same Home folder. Hence what we will do is to run the Dropbox setup from the terminal for which we will set a changed $HOME variable. (smart huh? :D)
Say X and Y are the Dropbox accounts we need to run it simultaneously on our Linux machine at home.
- So first install Dropbox. Installers can be obtained from the Dropbox website.
- Create folders X_dropbox and Y_dropbox in any location you wish. For this example I assume that the folders are created in Desktop.
- Open a terminal and run the following commands
export HOME=/home/$USERNAME/Desktop/X_dropbox dropbox start -i
This will start the Dropbox setup process. Enter the account details of the Dropbox User X. Use typical settings and then a folder called Dropbox will be created inside the folder X_dropbox. This folder is the user X’s synced folder. A Dropbox icon will appear in your GNOME notification area.
- To set up user Y’s account, run the following commands
export HOME=/home/$USERNAME/Desktop/Y_dropbox dropbox start -i
This time enter account details of user Y. Again the folder Dropbox inside Y_dropbox acts as the synced folder. Note that an additional Dropbox icon has popped up in the GNOME notification area !!
The next time you reboot, you will have to run the above commands without the “-i” option in second line. So it is better if you write it into a file, make it executable and add it to the start up applications. For this particular example, the file, say automate_dropbox.sh will look like this :
export HOME=/home/$USERNAME/Desktop/X_dropbox dropbox start export HOME=/home/$USERNAME/Desktop/Y_dropbox dropbox start export HOME=/home/$USERNAME/
Make this executable using right click > properties > permissions > allow execution or by running the command :
chmod +x automate_dropbox.sh
Now add it to start up applications from system > preferences > start up applications. Click on add, and give a name and browse to the file automate_dropbox.sh. This will ensure that dropbox starts up, without you typing in any command.
Now you are running multiple Dropbox instances using different accounts simultaneously !! Go on and sync as much as you want !!