Run Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

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

using ExaGear Desktop

 

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

Dropbox for Linux

Eltechs ExaGear Desktop for Raspberry Pi 3

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

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

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

Autostart Dropbox

8. If you want Dropbox to autostart after system reboot execute following commands in the host ARM terminal:

$ arch
armv7
$ sudo su
$ printf '#!/bin/bash\nexec exagear -- $0 $@\n' > /usr/bin/dropbox
$ chmod +x /usr/bin/dropbox
$ exit

Final notes

This instruction allows to launch Dropbox client and automatically synchronize files in ~/Dropbox folder. Please note that first synchronization might take some time especially if you have many files.

This way you can set up Dropbox not only on Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi 3 but also on another ARM-based device such as Odroid, Banana Pi, Beagleboard, Cubox, Jetson, Cubieboard etc. ExaGear Desktop supports almost all ARM devices and you can run Dropbox on any of them.

It is worth noting that with ExaGear Desktop you can run practically any x86 app on Raspberry Pi and other ARM-based devices.

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.