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  1. #1

    Any open source Dropbox client?


    Does anyone know whether there is an open source Dropbox client? I know there are other open source file sync solutions, but I have to use the Dropbox server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xuhdev View Post
    Does anyone know whether there is an open source Dropbox client? I know there are other open source file sync solutions, but I have to use the Dropbox server.
    I googled and found this: https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/1366

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by brainout View Post
    I googled and found this:
    Sorry maybe I didn't make my question clear, I meant a completely open source dropbox client.

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    Linux Enthusiast sgosnell's Avatar
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    It's in the Debian repositories. Debian is by far the strictest distro with open source software. I have no clue about other distro repositories.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    It's in the Debian repositories. Debian is by far the strictest distro with open source software. I have no clue about other distro repositories.
    Which Debian package? Per my understanding, Debian has a non free repository.

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    That's not true. You don't pay for Debian downloads. But when you say 'totally open source' I'm not sure what you mean. On PCLinuxOS, one of the pre-installed icons is Dropbox itself. In fact, I'm having trouble with that Distro, because someone pre-programmed it to log into Dropbox at boot, and I made the colossal mistake of clicking on the icon. Since PCLinuxOS is completely free, and you just upload or download Dropbox files to your PC, I guess I don't understand what you mean by 'totally open source' and 'client'?

    Do you just want to click on an icon on your desk and be directly in contact with the Dropbox server to sign in? If so, I think the icon in my PCLinuxOS, does that and it's obviously free. I believe the program in the repository 'dropbox' is it, too.

    If you're on Mint you should find it in Software manager. Or, if your distro has Synaptic, I think I saw it there. Maybe it's in Fedora's Apper (Fedora doesn't use yum anymore).

    Do you want me to find out the name of that icon's program for sure?

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by brainout View Post
    That's not true. You don't pay for Debian downloads. But when you say 'totally open source' I'm not sure what you mean. On PCLinuxOS, one of the pre-installed icons is Dropbox itself. In fact, I'm having trouble with that Distro, because someone pre-programmed it to log into Dropbox at boot, and I made the colossal mistake of clicking on the icon. Since PCLinuxOS is completely free, and you just upload or download Dropbox files to your PC, I guess I don't understand what you mean by 'totally open source' and 'client'?

    Do you just want to click on an icon on your desk and be directly in contact with the Dropbox server to sign in? If so, I think the icon in my PCLinuxOS, does that and it's obviously free. I believe the program in the repository 'dropbox' is it, too.

    If you're on Mint you should find it in Software manager. Or, if your distro has Synaptic, I think I saw it there. Maybe it's in Fedora's Apper (Fedora doesn't use yum anymore).

    Do you want me to find out the name of that icon's program for sure?
    Thanks for your explanation. Debian's "nonfree" is in the sense of freedom, not in the sense of money. In other words, Debian's nonfree repository contains only proprietary software, which does not charge money though. You can see a detailed story here: w w w.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html (Note there is an "open source" paragraph there which explains something you may have been confused)

    When I say "totally (completely) open source", I meant to say a piece of software which provide complete source code and does not contain a proprietary component. For example, Chrome is built upon Chromium. While Chromium is completely open source (all source code available), Chrome isn't since it includes a few proprietary components (a few decoders, adobe flash, etc). Although Chrome and Chromium are very similar in the sense of functionality, you lose a lot of control over Chrome.

    By "client", you are correct that it is a piece of software which connects the Dropbox server to do file synchronization.

    So, my question is: do I have a completely open source alternative Dropbox client to the official one? I know it's possible to implement such a client without revert engineering the protocol, since ownCloud server (which is completely open source) can mount Dropbox directories using Dropbox server's API. That's why I'm wondering whether someone has already done the work.

    The reasons I'm looking for such an alternative client are not only the common reasons which define "free software", but also privacy concerns. While we already lose some privacy by sending files to Dropbox, in the case we cannot avoid using Dropbox, we also don't really know what the official Dropbox client is doing on your computer.

  9. #8
    Linux Enthusiast sgosnell's Avatar
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    The nautilus-dropbox package is in the non-free repository. I don't know of any other Dropbox clients at all. If you have to use Dropbox and refuse to use the clients available, good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xuhdev View Post
    Thanks for your explanation. Debian's "nonfree" is in the sense of freedom, not in the sense of money. In other words, Debian's nonfree repository contains only proprietary software, which does not charge money though. You can see a detailed story here: w w w.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html (Note there is an "open source" paragraph there which explains something you may have been confused)

    When I say "totally (completely) open source", I meant to say a piece of software which provide complete source code and does not contain a proprietary component. For example, Chrome is built upon Chromium. While Chromium is completely open source (all source code available), Chrome isn't since it includes a few proprietary components (a few decoders, adobe flash, etc). Although Chrome and Chromium are very similar in the sense of functionality, you lose a lot of control over Chrome.

    By "client", you are correct that it is a piece of software which connects the Dropbox server to do file synchronization.

    So, my question is: do I have a completely open source alternative Dropbox client to the official one? I know it's possible to implement such a client without revert engineering the protocol, since ownCloud server (which is completely open source) can mount Dropbox directories using Dropbox server's API. That's why I'm wondering whether someone has already done the work.

    The reasons I'm looking for such an alternative client are not only the common reasons which define "free software", but also privacy concerns. While we already lose some privacy by sending files to Dropbox, in the case we cannot avoid using Dropbox, we also don't really know what the official Dropbox client is doing on your computer.
    Yeah, okay, I got it. Just was reading about the Chromium fracas in ZDNET earlier today. Google just doesn't understand how slipping in stuff without telling people sends a bad signal. Google doesn't understand a lot of things.

    But the 'dropbox' program in Synaptic is what I had on my PCLinuxOS, and I did just uninstall it. Came with the system, and it wasn't Debian. I think all it does is produce the signin-dialogue FOR dropbox. That's all I saw when I invoked it (thinking of you).

    Yesterday I didn't have a chance to do that, because my PCLinuxOS kept on tanking, and it took 12 hours or more to fix it to at least boot IF IF IF IF I'm online at the time. I partially fixed that just now (qt-notifier settings were designed for online at boot, but I can't turn the thing wholly off). So I went into 'dropbox' on my desktop (again, part of the default PCLinuxOS installation), and removed it.

    So you might try that, it installs easily enough. But it too was configured to prompt you at boot, and I couldn't see how to undo that.

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