I love Linux, but I still have to work on a Windows system much of the time. I’d like to share photos across both, and figure Dropbox is an easy solution. Can I install Dropbox on an Ubuntu Linux system, and if so, how’s it done?
You’ve identified an excellent solution for easy file sharing across a Windows and Linux system by choosing Dropbox, and the bonus is that it also works on Mac systems and even on Android and iOS mobile units if you want to also access your photos on a tablet or smartphone. Can’t complain about that!
Unfortunately, of all the platforms, Linux is the most complicated because it’s really still designed for people who are computer savvy and likely to be their own administrators too. Not impossible, just a number of steps, more steps than on any other system.
But let’s stop talking and jump in!
On your Ubuntu Linux system, launch your graphical interface and look along the left toolbar for the Ubuntu Software Center. It’s the orange icon:
Click on the Software Center icon and it’ll pop up immediately:
You can browse through lots of interesting programs and applications, but make things easy, search for dropbox in the search box. Tip: If you don’t see a search box, make sure your window is wide enough: If Software Center is too narrow, the search box vanishes. Weird.
Search for “dropbox”…
There it is, match #1. Click on it and you can get more information if you’re so inclined:
You can click on “More Info” but you already know about Dropbox, so let’s jump straight to installation.
Do that by clicking on… any guesses? … you guessed it! “Install“.
If you don’t know your admin password, well, then you can’t proceed, sorry to say. But who the heck would be using a Linux system without knowing their admin password? 🙂
Enter, click “Authenticate” and it’ll proceed…
But what’s not clear is exactly what it’s installing. But it sure tells you that everything is done:
In fact, Dropbox even shows up on the toolbar, as you can see:
But it’s only half done with the install, something that becomes immediately obvious when you try to launch Dropbox from the toolbar icon. It doesn’t prompt you to log in, it prompts you to download the other half of the program!
In fact, you’ll need to download and install this part of the program too, as the window explains.
Click “OK” and it’ll download and install without further intervention:
And, eventually, it’ll just launch and be what you expect for a new Dropbox program:
Log in with your Dropbox credentials and you’re good to go. Unless, like me, you have more files and folders than will fit on your Ubuntu installation:
It’s probably a good idea to choose what to sync anyway, so click on “Choose folders to sync“…
Choose what you want to sync, click “Update” and, finally, you’re done!
That’s it. Done. Finally.
And if you don’t yet have a Dropbox account, I strongly recommend you get one: Get A Dropbox Account.