Dropbox gives me an error that mentions echo tee 100000 but then it disappears. How to fix or remove msg?


3 Answers 3


Edit your /etc/sysctl.conf file with your favourite text editor, e.g. nano:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

and append (or modify the value of) fs.inotify.max_user_watches=100000 at the end of the file as a new line.

As an option you can use the command sudo sysctl -w fs.inotify.max_user_watches=100000 or the command below, as described on the Dropbox help guide, the results will be the same.

From the advanced help guide from Dropbox

Monitoring more than 10000 folders

The Linux version of the Dropbox desktop application is limited from monitoring more than 10000 folders by default. Anything over that is not watched and, therefore, ignored when syncing. There's an easy fix for this. Open a terminal and enter the following:

echo fs.inotify.max_user_watches=100000 | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf; sudo sysctl -p

This command will tell your system to watch up to 100000 folders. Once the command is entered and you enter your password, Dropbox will immediately resume syncing.


With Ubuntu 13.04:

$ sudo nano /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches

Then change what is in the file (I had 8192) to 100000

Then "ctrl o" to save and "ctrl x" to exit

Then run:

$ sudo sysctl -p

then restart Dropbox.

  • 2
    This one works with the newer Ubuntu releases!
    – AH.
    Aug 27, 2013 at 7:05
  • 6
    this won't change it permanently... just for the current boot
    – EdH
    Oct 10, 2014 at 4:21
  • In Ubuntu 14 this results in Fsync errors.
    – jgoeders
    Nov 13, 2014 at 22:24

Editing /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches directly results in Fsync errors in GVIM. This is because you can't really modify those files directly. Instead, it is better to use this command:

sudo sysctl -w fs.inotify.max_user_watches=100000

This doesn't cause file editing problems, and to me, looks like a more proper method.

  • 1
    Does this save the configuration when you reboot?
    – Malcolm
    Oct 29, 2013 at 18:43
  • @Malcolm It hasn't ever prompted me to set max_user_watches again.
    – Ryanmt
    Oct 30, 2013 at 18:56
  • 2
    That's odd. Using the sysctl -w method causes Dropbox to prompt me again every time I reboot. Only adding the line to /etc/sysctl.conf fixed it permanently for me. I'm using Debian Jessie.
    – Hubro
    Feb 4, 2014 at 6:53
  • This is the easiest answer if you get fsync errors.
    – Layke
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:49
  • You need to edit sysctl.conf as shown in the answer to make changes persistent. May 2, 2018 at 3:57

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