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Since a while, 2 weeks, Dropbox does not startup anymore on my laptop running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with GNOME shell.

When I run dropbox start -i in the console I get the following output.

  Starting Dropbox...Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1387, in <module>
    ret = main(sys.argv)
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1376, in main
    result = commands[argv[i]](argv[i+1:])
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1247, in start
    if not start_dropbox():
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 731, in start_dropbox
    stderr=sys.stderr, stdout=f, close_fds=True)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 679, in __init__
    errread, errwrite)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 1249, in _execute_child
    raise child_exception
  OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error

I already removed Dropbox and reinstalled it. What should I do to fix this?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Try to reinstall dropbox.

First open a terminal and type the following to remove dropbox:

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --purge remove nautilus-dropbox
sudo apt-get --purge autoremove

Now type the next commands in sequence to install dropbox.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 5044912E
sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -sc) main"
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox


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This worked for me apart from apt-key adv --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 5044912E That command just hung. Doing the purge, update and install of Dropbox seemed sufficient. –  Giles Roberts Feb 4 '13 at 11:55
Sorry but this did not work for me. Firstly I installed dropbox and not nautilus-dropbox. I got the following error W: A error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used. GPG error: http://linux.dropbox.com precise Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY FC918B335044912E W: Failed to fetch http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu/dists/precise/Release W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead. –  WG- Feb 4 '13 at 12:31
The following packages have unmet dependencies: nautilus-dropbox : Depends: dropbox but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages. –  WG- Feb 4 '13 at 12:32
Then try this to install it: cd ~ && wget -O - "http://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf - and to run type this: ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd –  efthialex Feb 4 '13 at 12:37
1) delete the .dropbox-dist folder from your home. 2) open a terminal and type: dropbox start 3) then type dropbox start -i to link your account –  efthialex Feb 4 '13 at 13:19

I had the same problem and found this fix

Basically, I fixed the error by reinstalling dropbox distribution with the following terminal commands:

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/dropbox/.dropbox-dist
dropbox start -i
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I had a similar error, and this worked:

rm -rf $HOME/.dropbox-dist
dropbox start -i

After running those commands in the terminal, let the dropbox downloader run and install. It should work immediately after it finishes.

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This worked for me on Ubuntu 14.04. –  Kamil Slowikowski Sep 2 '14 at 23:17

I had the same issue but none of this worked. But I found there was a running dropbox process. Even when I asked the status it showed as stopped and it didn't work at all.

My solution was to kill the dropbox process, remove the .dropbox-dist directory and run it again.

First find the dropbox process:

$ ps ax | grep dropbox
5490 ?        SNsl   0:01 /home/frankie/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86-2.10.52/dropbox
$ kill -TERM 5490

Then remove the dist dir and start it again

$ rm .dropbox/dropbox.pid
$ dropbox start -i

Hope this helps.

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for me simple

dropbox start -i


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OP is trying the same, it didn't work. –  Braiam Feb 16 '14 at 20:42
sorry, didn't noticed. I had quite different problem indeed... –  Leszek Feb 21 '14 at 10:09

protected by Braiam Feb 16 '14 at 20:00

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