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Background

I have a D-LINK DNS-320 NAS which works well to provide SMB shares but not much else. I have mounted the volumes on my NAS to my Ubuntu Server 12.04 VM which runs as production for me for several internal and external sites.

My own Documents, Pictures, etc... I moved to the NAS some time ago to a folder on my own name.

Dropbox

I have since installed Dropbox and made it into a daemon by following another article and this resulted in my user's home folder having a new folder called Dropbox inside which replicates without issue.

My problems comes from that inside that folder I created a soft link called Documents to the folder named after me on my NAS through the mount. i.e.

/home/user/Dropbox/Documents -> /mnt/nas1/vol1/Files/user

Problem

Now whenever I reboot it seems to me like the NAS is not mounting before Dropbox kicks in because rebooting the Ubuntu Server causes Dropbox to wipe all my files. Then if I SSH in and run their python script to restart Dropbox then it finds everything (almost everything) again and starts to upload it. This back and forth is causing me issues and to loose some of my files.

Current status

I have for now disabled the Dropbox daomon on my Ubuntu Server and I am currently working with Dropbox to try to restore all of my files.

Once I have done this, I need to come up with a better method.

Original Idea

My original idea was that Dropbox would simply replicate all of my Documents and allow not only everything to be synced between smart phones, tables, laptops, and desktops, but for me to also keep a synced copy on my NAS for backup purposes.

Clearly at this point I cannot do this if I cannot fix the above issue so I am reaching out for some help and I would welcome ideas.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've gotten an answer back from Dropbox about this article by sending their support team the link and here is the main part of their answer back.

"Unfortunately, Dropbox does not work completely when used with a network filesystem. Dropbox is reporting this error because the Dropbox application is unable to fully access this location.

The problem is that network filesystems do not send messages when files change. When Dropbox first starts it will do a deep file scan and will detect changes and sync them. However, during normal operation, Dropbox waits for "file update events" and only physically connected drives send these events."

So I have configured my Dropbox on my Ubuntu Server 12.04 to run to the user's own folder for now and I am using rsync in a cron job to replicate over to my NAS hourly.

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Some NAS operating systems provide their own Dropbox applications, which is basically the only "clean", as in "supported" way to keep a synced copy of your Dropbox folder on a NAS or any network location for that matter. Some of these apps don't work like actual desktop clients, as they don't sync/lack an upload channel etc. I have read that a possible hack (reportedly works without issues for some people) is to place a symlink to a network folder on your local drive and point your Dropbox client to that symlink. Haven't tried it and can't remember the source, sorry! Have tried the same thing you are doing, with a lot of agony... I'm not sure Dropbox support is telling you the whole truth there, as there must be a way to make some of the many available network protocols send file update events. I suspect they have one or another additional reason for not making this work - you know you're not the first guy to want that feature...

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