For mysterious reasons dropbox is not working anymore. I have added few small pdf to my folder and it is syncing them for hours. I have tried to remove and reinstall dropbox but nothing is changed.

I suspect this can be due a possible recent ubuntu update. Has anyone the same problem or now how to solve it?

6 Answers 6


I had the same problem, I removed the .dropbox hidden folder (located at home directory) and reinstalled Dropbox again.

But according to https://www.dropbox.com/help/72 you can reset ownership an permissions running the following commands:

sudo chown "$USER" "$HOME"
sudo chown -R "$USER" ~/Dropbox ~/.dropbox ~/.dropbox-master
sudo chattr -R -i ~/Dropbox
sudo chmod -R u+rw ~/Dropbox ~/.dropbox ~/.dropbox-master
  • 1
    Why this answer has been downvoted?
    – Donbeo
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 22:18
  • 1
    I am wondering that too.
    – Anon
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 22:22
  • 1
    your solution did not work for me. I have not the /dropbox-master folder. Even removing /dropbox-master from the previous code it is not working
    – Donbeo
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 23:33
  • Now it is working again. Maybe it was a problem of the dropbox server
    – Donbeo
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 8:34
  • I'm glad it's working again Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 16:55

I have the same problem with Ubuntu 16.04. I ran dropbox from the terminal and it suggested to execute the following command to fix the problem, and restart dropbox:

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

It worked for me :-)

  • Just "run dropbox from the terminal" is the best way to find the problem. Mine was out of disk space on that partition. Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 0:58

First check whether Dropbox has been installed properly...

Run this command in terminal:

dropbox status

If the output is Dropbox isn't running!

Then run the following command:

dropbox start 

Or if that doesn't work, try dropbox start -i to locate interpreter if possible.

Now Dropbox will start and automatically synchronize the updated files.

Fox next time you can run this command to start Dropbox automatically...

dropbox autostart

I have a sync problem (16.04) which at least affects Dropbox uploading on eduroam, the WiFi where I work. Syncing does work when invoking Dropbox by terminal. To ensure upload, I've added

alias drop='dropbox stop && dropbox start && until [ "$(dropbox status)" = "Up to date" ] ; do dropbox status; sleep 1; done'

to my .bashrc file in my home folder. Running drop in terminal then stops and starts Dropbox and syncs, outputting status until finished. It's not pretty, but it works.

  • This was a good answer. My problem was disk space (d'oh), but running this script helped me find it. Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 0:56

I tried everything at https://www.dropbox.com/help/72 to no avail. The only thing that worked for me (Dropbox 2.10.30 under Ubuntu 14.04) was plugging my computer to a wired internet connection.


Another possibility, if someone runs into such a problem:

I had the service stop working and so I updated to the latest version (currently 2.10.30). In ~/.dropbox-dist the main program has been changed from dropbox to dropboxd so my script in /etc/init.d had to be edited to reflect the change.

Line 4 in the popular Dropbox script should be


(I ran into this problem in both Ubuntu 14.04 and 10.04, and 10.04 is still having problems, namely not syncing when a file is deleted and re-created.)

  • What do you mean by "popular Dropbox script"? I can't find anything that looks associated to Dropbox in my /etc/init.d folder. Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 19:33
  • 1
    Correct, there is no standard one. I'm still having problems on Ubuntu 10.04 but it works on 14.04. Here is the one I use from GitHub Gist.
    – sventech
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 10:18

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