There are many threads about how to restore the dropbox icon. For instance, this link.

Following those instructions in xubuntu 18.04 restores the menu icon, but left or right clicking the icon just brings up a useless, empty menu. Specifically, running the following in a terminal brings me to this state:

dropbox stop

env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity dropbox start

I'm aware that on xubuntu Unity is not the desktop. Running


returns XFCE, but replacing XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity by XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=XFCE brings the dropbox back to a broken state where the normal dropbox icon doesn't appear at all.

Any thoughts on what to do?

  • Is it clean installation or upgrade from 16.04? Are you running 64-bit OS? – N0rbert Aug 18 '18 at 9:36
  • It's an upgrade from 16.04, 64bit. – user26866 Aug 19 '18 at 10:04

On clean installation of Xubuntu 18.04.1 LTS I started with

sudo apt-get install thunar-dropbox-plugin

then rebooted, logged in and waited for proprietary DropBox installer to finish, then logged in to my DropBox account. Then got icon in place, but left and right clicks did not work.

To fix it we need to change dropbox start -i to dbus-launch dropbox start -i.

I recommend to make it with script:

rm ~/.config/autostart/dropbox.desktop
dropbox autostart y
sed -i "s/dropbox start -i/dbus-launch dropbox start -i/" ~/.config/autostart/dropbox.desktop

Then logout and login back and enjoy:

Dropbox on Xubuntu

Note: if this method does not work for you try to remove dropbox completely with

dropbox stop
rm -rf ~/.dropbox ~/.dropbox-dist
sudo apt-get purge thunar-dropbox-plugin
sudo apt-get autoremove

then reboot and start from the beginning.

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  • Thanks but this didn't work for me. Running dbus-launch dropbox start -i brings up a broken icon, even after running sudo apt-get install thunar-dropbox-plugin – user26866 Aug 18 '18 at 9:15
  • Same here, didn't work. The deamon does run, so I ended up setting selective sync from the console. – RolfBly Feb 26 '19 at 16:33

hopefully you found a solution in the meanwhile.

For those who are still looking for one I fixed the problem by installing the dropbox.deb for ubuntu again that is available as download. I used the "Software install" as explained here.

Afterwards the icon and menu is present again and the client continues as before with syncing.

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