I have two Dropbox accounts. Is it possible to link and use both of the accounts simultaneously without logging in as the different user?

Do not confuse with similar looking post

Multiple Dropbox accounts on the same computer for different users.


General idea [source]

The basic idea is to just start Dropbox from the command-line using an alternate home directory. This will create another Dropbox icon, and another Dropbox folder, which has to be in some other place from the original one.

The two Dropbox folders will both be called Dropbox (this cannot be changed), but you can distinguish them by their location.

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Method: 1 - If you have installed nautilus-dropbox from the repository

Open a terminal and paste the following commands:

$ mkdir "$HOME"/.dropbox-alt 
$ HOME="$HOME/.dropbox-alt"
$ /usr/bin/dropbox start -i

A new Dropbox setup wizard window will open and second Dropbox icon should appear on the status bar.

  • Choose an existing account (different from the original one!) or create a new one.
  • Make sure you choose an alternate location for your new Dropbox folder.

Now your alternate dropbox is set.

start Dropbox from terminal

$ /usr/bin/dropbox start -i

start Alternate-Dropbox from terminal

$ HOME="$HOME/.dropbox-alt" && /usr/bin/dropbox start -i

Method: 2 - If you have compiled dropbox in your home from tar.gz file

Open a terminal and paste the following commands:

$ mkdir "$HOME"/.dropbox-alt
$ ln -s "$HOME/.Xauthority" "$HOME/.dropbox-alt/"
$ HOME="$HOME/.dropbox-alt"
$ /home/$USER/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

Dropbox setup wizard window will appear. Finish the setup similarly as described in Method -1

start Dropbox from terminal

$ /home/$USER/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

start Alternate-Dropbox from terminal

$ HOME="$HOME/.dropbox-alt" && /home/$USER/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd


  • You can create a small script with the above commands to start Dropbox.
  • One can put the script at startup. Don't forget to give the script execution permission.
chmod +x /path/to/script
  • I have tested the second method. Hope it will be useful.
  • 1
    The first method worked nicely for me Ubuntu 14.04. Just two notes: this answer assumes you've already gone ahead and linked your first Dropbox account. Second, when you're linking your account with the Dropbox GUI and you want to change the location, you have to click Advanced Settings which appears on the screen after you choose your selective sync options. – Garrett Feb 28 '15 at 21:28
  • For me, I was able to have the two folders in the same location, because my second one (business account) had a different name. It seems the second one's default name must have been set by my admin, so maybe that only applies to business accounts. – Garrett Feb 28 '15 at 21:29
  • This is no longer working for me. Starting the second Dropbox instance kills the first one. (on Ubuntu 14.04.2 with kernel 3.16.0-13) – Garrett Mar 13 '15 at 0:33
  • @Garrett - if this stops working for you, try this: realflash.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/… – Ian Gibbs Feb 11 '16 at 12:11
  • what's this got to do with nautilus? – phil294 Jun 29 '17 at 23:39

The multiple fake home directories method works until Dropbox updates itself; if you find that you have this working and then it stops working, see https://realflash.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/multiple-dropboxes-stops-working-only-one-at-a-time/

protected by souravc Mar 24 '17 at 11:53

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