Move Dropbox files on Linux Mint

I have the Dropbox client installed on my Linux Mint machine and it has worked flawlessly for years. Suddenly, I started getting a notification pop-up telling me to move my Dropbox files as they will stop being synced in November.

A quick search revealed the rather cryptic message is a result of Dropbox’s decision to stop supporting certain file systems across all operating systems. With Linux appearing to be the most impacted as they will only support Ext4 without encryption (unless whole-disk; e.g. LUKS) going forward. Of course, I running Ext4 with my Home directory encrypted.

So, after looking for alternatives I decided to stay with Dropbox and try to work-around the problem. I decided I would create a partition that Dropbox would like. Since my laptop (an old Dell 6250) has an SD card reader I rarely use I decided to use an 16GB SD card (8 times more storage than I have with Dropbox).

First, I formatted an SD card as Ext4:

Then I moved the folder location in the Dropbox client to use the new directory. The client automatically moves the file and deletes the old location folder.

Next step was to create a symlink to make the old location still work for applications/scripts that would look to the old location:

ln -s /media/joey/Sync/Dropbox /home/joey/Dropbox

The only real risk is the SD card getting corrupted and losing the files. To address this a simple bash script will backup the files each night:


# Backup Dropbox folder to local disk

# Run from via cron:
# /home/joey/Scripts/
# ---------- copy ----------
# Backup Dropbox at 1AM each day
# * 1 * * * /home/joey/Scripts/ 1> /dev/null
# ---------- copy ----------

RUNDATE=`date +%Y%m%d`                     # append date to file
FILENAME=Dropbox_backup-$RUNDATE.tar.gz    # name of backup file
SOURCEDIR=/media/joey/Sync/Dropbox         # Dropbox location (real location)
TARGETDIR=/home/joey/Backups               # Destination of backup file

# run archive command