Hello I was wondering if it's possible to make Dropbox sync my ~/Documents folder? I'm on Ubuntu 10.10 netbook remix (Not that NBR should matter that much). I've read how to do this on Windows, and I was wondering if it's possible to do it on Ubuntu as well. Thanks in advance.


You could use symlinks, but you would have to do it the other way round (symlink your dropbox folder onto your documents folder). This would, to all intents and purposes make any files in your dropbox folder show up in your documents folder. The command to do this:

sudo ln -s ~/Dropbox/* ~/Documents

Obviously replace any folder names as necessary.

** EDIT **

Scratch that. This script: http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=9665 will allow you to rename / move your dropbox folder wherever you want. Its not yet possible (?) to have more than one folder synced to dropbox (although it is through ubuntu one)

** EDIT 2 **

Or just switch the symlink around so it works the other way. See this: http://wiki.dropbox.com/TipsAndTricks/SyncOtherFolders

  • But would it be vice-versa? Would saved files in Documents go into Dropbox, or would it just be Dropbox to Documents?
    – jrg
    Dec 3 '10 at 16:42
  • Your're right it would only work one way. See the edit for more details.
    – richzilla
    Dec 3 '10 at 16:47
  • While this was a little more complicated than I expected, this is the best answer. It works like a charm. Thanks!
    – jrg
    Dec 3 '10 at 17:21
  • I linked my some subfolders of my Documents folder in the Dropbox and it works both ways. Dropbox handle the linked folder without problems
    – Marcel
    May 18 '11 at 13:04
  • richzilla's command is fine, just no need for sudo as you are manipulating the data in your own home folder, which you have full access to anyway. Using sudo when it is not needed can cause issues. Mar 24 '12 at 22:03

All I do is :

  1. Create a "Documents" folder inside Dropbox (which, when I install it, I tell it to use ~/Misc/Dropbox).
  2. Delete my actual ~/Documents folder (copy anything out of it first).
  3. Then drag-n-drop my newly created ~/Misc/Dropbox/Documents folder to the root of my home folder with CTRL and SHIFT held down. That symlinks it.
  4. Repeat for any other folders I want synced. I usually do my Development folder and my Desktop.

Whenever I use my Documents folder now, I know that it's getting quietly synced to Dropbox.

alt text

This method is particularly useful if you use two or more PCs and know that you'll get all those files no matter which PC you're sitting at, even those you dragged to the Desktop.

Update : As Geppettvs D'Constanzo notes in his answer, Ubuntu Tweak will allow you (after following the steps in this answer) to tell Nautilus to use the default locations for your Desktop and Home folders, so you don't lose the icons after all.


I don't know what version of Dropbox are you guys talking about. From Dropbox v0.7.110 there is an option which allows you to choose which folder location is going to be used for the sync process.

Additionally, folder locations can be handled via Ubuntu Tweak with ease. And you can change the location of your Documents folder (in example) to a different place in your file system or in a different hard disk drive indeed.

Sorry if my answer is too late.

Edited to include the Ubuntu Tweak Screenshot:

Ubuntu Tweak in action

  • 2
    The selective sync actually only allows you to specify which folders from those already synced with dropbox* will be synced with your computer. It's a slightly different use case. Useful if you have lots of data synced with Dropbox and you only want a subset of it on another given computer.
    – Scaine
    Jan 19 '11 at 19:24

Some times ln -s can't be used. so you can add to the /etc/fstab next line:

/New-Dropbox-Folder  /home/username/Dropbox none defaults,bind      0       0

Change /New-Dropbox-Folder with your needs.

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