Installing dropbox on openSUSE 11.2 with KDE 28

This is the first of a series of posts to help openSUSE users that started to use KDE 4, or are new to Linux. Why KDE? Well, I tried it just to see how it is, I went back to GNOME, and I was missing KDE already after a few hours, and only after two weeks of using it. KDE 4 is not finished yet: some part of the migration process from KDE 3 to KDE 4 is still going on, for example in the PIM (Personal Information Management) department, but the environment is fresh, clean, extremely fast and responsive even with desktop effects enabled. In other words, I think they are convincing me it is not the KDE I knew. In a certain sense KDE learned many lessons from GNOME, when it comes to the desktop experience. KDE devopers simplified the user experience significantly, without giving up on functionality and options. But they did more: they made desktop effect clean and working efficiently on Linux with kwin, which is much smoother and much less annoying than compiz, at least on my system. I’m sure GNOME won’t sleep. A lot of work is going on for GNOME 3.0, and I surely appreciate the fact they delayed the release of 3.0 to provide a stable release, which was not done by KDE with 4.0/4.1 creating a horrible experience for its users and causing a lot of troubles to the distributions which adopted it.

Let’s go back to the topic of this post. Dropbox has no client for KDE, and I use dropbox a lot. Installing nautilus-dropbox is not an option, because it pulls a lot of GNOME dependencies, and it uses nautilus. Luckily, the solution is simple, because dropbox does not actually need nautilus and can happily use konqueror or dolphin. How? With the following quick steps:

  • Download dropbox proprietary daemon from their website (do not use the pre-packaged nautilus-dropbox for openSUSE)
  • Extract the content of the file in your home directory (For example: /home/alberto). The directory created is called .dropbox-dist and it is hidden, so you won’t see it if your file manager is not showing hidden files
  • Open a terminal and execute the command: ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd
  • Follow the instructions on screen to configure your dropbox as usual. The remainder part of this procedure assumes you set your dropobox folder in the default position (~/Dropbox).
  • Create a symbolic link to dolphin in order to have dropbox use it instead of nautilus, by giving the commands (you have to be root to do this)
    • su
    • ln – s /usr/bin/dolphin /usr/bin/nautilus
    • exit
  • Download dropbox-servicemenu-kde to have service menu functions in the dropbox folder
  • Extract the file and enter the directory that the extraction created
  • Open a terminal there and execute: ./
  • Finally, make the dropbox daemon start on KDE startup
    • Start KDE System Settings
    • Go to the Advanced tab
    • Select Autostart
    • Press the Add script button
    • Add the command: /home/<replace_with_your_username>/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd after replacing with <replace_with_your_username> with your username (For example, alberto in my case)
    • Select “Pre-KDE startup” in the dropdown list

That’s all. Enjoy! :mrgreen:

28 thoughts on “Installing dropbox on openSUSE 11.2 with KDE

  • charles

    Thanks, works great. Note that for someone new, KDE System Settings is also known as ‘Configure Desktop’

  • Rocco

    Tnx man!

    Just started using dropbox today and absolute linux newbie.
    Got everything working in 10 mins.
    Nice guide, very clear!
    Tnx again!

  • JT

    My Dropbox works fine otherwise, but it uses Nautilus despite of making the symbolic link for dolphin. And also, the special commands don’t work, ie the “copy public link”.

    • Alberto Post author

      Hi, if nautilus is installed, the symbolic link won’t work anymore and nautilus will be used by dropbox. The special commands in nautilus require nautilus-dropbox installed. You find it on openSUSE buildservice.

  • William

    Hey I wanted to say thanks. I was trying to figure out a way of using Dropbox without Nautilus (Using Mandriva 2010 – KDE) and actually I don’t even need all the steps you use. I just download the file save to home folder run the executible then create a symlink and it works perfect!! Thanks so much!!

  • Pablo

    Hi Alberto, thanks for your tips. I have Dropbox working in my machines now 🙂
    BTW, I’m looking for different options for online backup/sync service. I’ve used Dropbox for 2 weeks. Have you used spideroak ( It seems to have a more advanced interface and a lower price than Dropbox. 100Gb/10U$S/month.
    Any advice?

    • Alberto Post author

      I did not know spideroak. Thanks for the link. Indeed it seems interesting, and they offer a pre-packaged client for openSUSE too 😉
      Do you know if they allow easy sharing with links like dropbox?


  • Pablo

    Alberto, I’ve not used spideroak yet. I’ll give it a try soon!
    I saw the package for openSUSE!!!! 😀 That’s another good reason to try it!!
    I’ll tell you if I have any issue installing sipderoak.

  • Pablo

    Alberto, I’ve used spideroak for a few weeks.
    Yes, there’s a way for easy sharing. It use a different concept, It creates a Room you share with friends, so everyone who has a pass to that room can access that folder/file from a web browser.
    I think that the major issue is the speed for up/download.
    But It’s a useful tool.

    • Alberto Post author

      I tried it too, and I found it very nice, cross-platform, with a good quality interface. In addition, it seems openSUSE developers are in touch with spideroak to include it in the distribution. If this is successful, spideroak support would come out of the box on our distro 😀

  • Motoki

    I’m sure your clear description should work well, but I’m facing one small problem.
    I don’t find any link or desktop launcher of Dropbox even after I installed scripts according to your guide.
    I know I can use dolphin to view my own Dropbox folder, but how can I do that basically?
    I’m sorry if this question sounds so stupid or incomprehensive.

    • Alberto Post author

      You won’t have any launcher in the menu or on the desktop. If you followed the instructions, dropbox icon will appear in the notification area. Simply click on it and dolphin will open.

    • Alberto Post author

      System settings -> Advanced is there. Simply click on “System settings” in the Favourite tab of the openSUSE KDE menu.

  • irving

    I have instaled dropbox from “1-click install” option from openSUSE Build Service ( It seems to work fine.

    When I clicked “1-click install” from my firefox web browser I downloaded it using “YaST Meta Package Handler” and then I followed the instructions. When finished from a command line window (terminal) I typed “dropbox start -i”.

    There is an option “dropbox autostart y” which automatically start dropbox at login.

  • Divvey Fallfan

    many thanks, this is the fourth forum/blog I have followed to do this; yours is the one that works!

    Net hero!!

  • Angela

    Hi alberto,

    Thanks a lot for sharing. I followed your instruction and found after I did the command from my home directory:

    ,the icon of dropbox showed in the notification area. But when I click it, it shows
    nautilus: Unknown option ‘-desktop’.
    nautilus: Use –help to get a list of available command line options.

    And the script didn’t work either.

    Look forward to your help.


    • Alberto Post author

      With recent releases of dropbox, you do not need to create the link to nautilus anymore. Dropbox will directly open the default file manager of your desktop environment.

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