I use dropbox on linux with symlinks, but am not sure which is the best/preferred way to use them. Is there a best practice for using this type of configuration?
Currently I use symlinks in my home directory that point to the actual folders in my Dropbox folder, but I have heard of doing the inverse: placing symlinks in the dropbox folder pointing out into the home directory. Are there pros and cons to symlinking from the Dropbox folder to the home directory vs. placing a symlink in the home folder linking to inside the Dropbox folder?
What happens during a catastrophic failure triggering a need for data restoration, which method is preferred? Is there a way to dynamically create links for new entries (like .* folders)? Is there an advantage/disadvantage to using soft vs. hard linking?
Any links/posts with regards to the above would be most appreciated. I acknowledge that Dropbox does not fully support symbolic links, but find them so useful I am committed to using them.
Thanks in advance!
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Thanks for your response, sounds like sticking with the current setup definitely makes sense.
Also, while setting up dropbox on a live usb stick, I just discovered another reason for using symlinks pointing into the Dropbox folder. Doing the inverse would likely cause the data from each separate host to clobber the other host's data. With symlinks pointing the Dropbox folder I know have the same data across hosts that I want to share in common, which is pretty useful.
From what you describe, I guess as a best practice it would be advisable to not drop any symlinks into the Dropbox folder at all as it sounds pretty risky. I hope a better solution to dealing with symlinks is developed, but until then it sounds safe to avoid using them in any way within the Dropbox hierarchy structure.
Thanks for your help!
I've had this setup (linking my Desktop to the a ~/Dropbox/Desktop for years now. However, I just bought a new Macbook Pro running OS X catalina. Everytime I create the symlink to the Dropbox, it initially works, but then the OS restores what seems like a default folder and deletes the link.
Everytime I create the symlink to the Dropbox, it initially works, but then the OS restores what seems like a default folder and deletes the link.
I can't comment on why Catalina is replacing the symlink with a new folder, but I can say it doesn't matter much anymore. Dropbox has never supported symlinks and recently changed how they sync.
Dropbox will no longer sync the content at the other end of a symlink when the target folder is located outside of the Dropbox folder. i.e., You can no longer use symlinks to sync external folders like your Desktop.
From reading about the changes, I shouldn't be affected. My link is created in my home directory and links a regular folder in Dropbox. The changes seem to only apply to symlinks created within dropbox.
I have found a workaround that may help you guys at Dropbox provide us with a more elegant solution. After creating the symlink to my Dropbox desktop folder, I locked the link file by displaying its info and checking the 'Locked' checkbox. That seems to do the trick. I checked that I can still write and save to my desktop. I have also restarted my machine (this step previously resulted in my link deleted and a new Desktop folder created) and everything is intact.
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