Run Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

Step-by-step instruction on running Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

using ExaGear Desktop

 Original Dropbox client running on Raspberry Pi

Dropbox is a very popular file-hosting service used all over the world. That’s why many Raspberry Pi enthusiasts are willing to use Dropbox client on their Mini-PCs to synchronize data between different devices. Unfortunately, the official Dropbox client supports only x86-based computers, but not ARM-based as Raspberry Pi. Of course, there are a number of third-party Dropbox clients which can be used on RPi-like devices. But all of them suffer from the lack of functionality, stability and support, and also installation looks sometimes tricky.

Good news that there is a simple solution. Using ExaGear Desktop you can easily launch, original Dropbox client on your RPi device (as well as on Odroid, Banana Pi, Beagleboard, Cubox, Jetson, Cubieboard etc).

In this post we will tell you how to install and run Dropbox client on Raspberry Pi 2 using ExaGear Desktop which allows to run x86 apps on ARM mini PCs. We also successfully tested Dropbox on Raspberry Pi 3 with ExaGear Desktop using the same approach.

P.S.: you might also want to install Plex Media Server on your Raspberry Pi to organize your media files and stream them to your other devices.

Raspberry Pi test stand configuration

Model

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3

Frequency

1000 MHz

1200 MHz

Memory

1 GB RAM

1 GB RAM

Operating System

Raspbian Jessie from November 2015

Raspbian Jessie from May 2016

Software

Dropbox for Linux

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 2 v1.4.1

Dropbox for Linux

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 3 v1.5

Dropbox installation instruction

Install ExaGear Desktop

1. Download ExaGear Desktop archive with installation packages and license key. Open Terminal (command line) and unpack the downloaded archive using the following command:

$ tar -xvzpf exagear-desktop-rpi2.tar.gz

2. Install ExaGear Desktop:

$ sudo ./install-exagear.sh

Launch guest x86 system

3. Enter the guest x86 system using the following command:

$ exagear
Starting the shell in the guest image /opt/exagear/images/debian-8-wine2g

Now you are in x86 environment that can be checked by running ‘arch’ command:

$ arch
i686

4. It is recommended to update apt-get repositories on the first launch of the guest system:

$ sudo apt-get update

Install Dropbox

5. Install prerequisites:

$ sudo apt-get install wget libxslt-dev libxxf86vm-dev xcb

6. Download deb-archive for 32-bit Debian from the Dropbox website:

$ wget linux.dropbox.com/packages/debian/dropbox_2015.10.28_i386.deb

7. Install Dropbox:

$ sudo dpkg -i dropbox_2015.10.28_i386.deb; sudo apt-get install -f

8. Create directory required for Dropbox:

$ sudo mkdir /usr/share/X11/xkb

Run Dropbox

Run Dropbox on Raspberry Pi from the Start menu

At the first launch Dropbox runs the installation daemon. Press “ok” and wait until the installation finishes.

First Launch Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

Final notes

This instruction allows to launch Dropbox client and automatically syncronize files in ~/Dropbox folder.

But if you try to click “Open Dropbox Folder” from Dropbox menu nothing happens. This is because Dropbox tries to open Nautilus File Manager which is not installed by default in the x86 guest image in Exagear Desktop. You can install it inside x86 environment by typing:

$ exagear

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus

But this step results in downloading and installing a lot of libraries only needed to open File Manager directly from Dropbox client. We recommend using default Raspberry Pi File Manager to manually open ~/Dropbox folder instead of installing Nautilus inside x86 guest system.

Get my ExaGear Desktop

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ExaGear is registered trademark of Elbrus Technologies. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Dropbox is a trademark of Dropbox Inc. Other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

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  • Spike

    Thank you for the informative and very helpful tutorial. I have got Dropbox mainly working on my Raspberry Pi 3. It starts to synch the Dropbox directories (I have them mapped to an external USB HDD) but gives ups after a variable time period. I then have to restart Dropbox again then it carries on only to fail again ten to twenty mins later.