What Linux commands are available for Dropbox?

The Dropbox desktop app is available on supported Linux operating systems. In addition to using dropbox.com, we recommend that you download and install the appropriate Linux package of the Dropbox desktop app.

The Dropbox desktop app can be controlled with the Linux Command Line Interface (CLI). Depending on your Linux distribution and the package you used to perform installation, you may need to download this Python script to control Dropbox from the command line; however, we recommend you first try without downloading the script.

Before running commands, ensure that you’re running the available commands while your prompt is located at the root (top level) of the Dropbox folder.

  • By default, the Dropbox folder is located in ~/Dropbox . Or, if you have a Dropbox Business account, the folder will be located in ~/Dropbox (Your team name). If you have moved the Dropbox folder to a different location, please make sure you navigate to the root of your actual Dropbox folder before running the commands below.


dropbox help [command]

With no arguments, prints a list of commands and a short description of each. With a command, prints descriptive help on how to use the command.


dropbox status

Prints out the current status of the Dropbox daemon.


dropbox puburl FILE

Prints out a public link url for FILE. This is only applicable if you have a public folder enabled in your account. This command can only be used on files in your public folder.


dropbox stop

Stops the Dropbox daemon.


dropbox running

Returns 1 if the daemon is running and 0 if it’s not running. This command can only be used in scripts to check if Dropbox is running. This command does not output anything to the CLI.


dropbox start [-i]

Starts the Dropbox daemon. If the daemon is already running, this will not do anything. Options include -i or i--install to auto install the Dropbox daemon if it’s not available on the system.


dropbox file status  [-l] [-a] [FILE]…

Prints the current status of each FILE.


  • -l or --list prints out information in a format similar to the native Linux command ls.
  • -a or --all do not ignore entries starting with "."

Aliases include stat.


dropbox ls [FILE]…

This is an alias for filestatus -l.


dropbox autostart [y/n]


  • n Dropbox will not start automatically at login.
  • y Dropbox will start automatically at login (default).

This command may only work on currently supported Ubuntu distributions.


dropbox exclude [list]

When list is used or with no arguments, prints a list of directories currently excluded from syncing.

dropbox exclude add [DIRECTORY] [DIRECTORY] …

Adds one or more directories to the exclusion list, then resynchronizes Dropbox.

dropbox exclude remove [DIRECTORY] [DIRECTORY] …

Removes one or more directories from the exclusion list, and then resynchronizes Dropbox.

Note: Any specified path must be within the Dropbox folder.


dropbox lan sync [y/n]


  • y Dropbox will use LAN sync (default).
  • n Dropbox will not use LAN sync.


dropbox sharelink FILE

Prints out a shared link for FILE.

  • FILE Absolute path to FILE


dropbox proxy MODE [TYPE] [HOST] [PORT] 

Manually sets proxy settings for Dropbox.

  • MODE One of the following: none, auto, manual
  • Only valid in manual mode:
    • TYPE One of the following: http, socks4, socks5
    • HOST Proxy hostname
    • PORT Proxy port
    • USERNAME Proxy username (optional)
    • PASSWORD Proxy password (optional)


dropbox throttle DOWNLOAD UPLOAD

Sets bandwidth limits for file sync.

  • DOWNLOAD Either unlimited or a manual limit in KB/s
  • UPLOAD One of the following: unlimited, auto, or a manual limit in KB/s
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