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Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Mackeroy
New member | Level 2

Is there a way to create a symlink or alias for a file or folder that points to a file within another Dropbox folder?  For instance, making a symlink or alias for a large video file that resides in one folder within a Dropbox account, and then creating a pointer within another shared folder so that I don't have to have a duplicate of this large file residing in two places at once.  I understand that whoever I share the symlink/alias with in the first shared folder would also need to have access to the target or destination folder as well.  Basically what I'm doing is creating a media folder for a video editor to access that I would like to have links/pointers to these large files in, rather than making copies of all the media elements for this shared media folder and taking up twice the space.  Thanks! 

13 Replies 13

Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Daphne
Dropboxer
Hello @Mackeroy, I hope you're well today!

Symlinks and aliases are not currently supported by Dropbox, but perhaps I could suggest a work around for this.

Since you can create a shortcut to a web link with these steps, perhaps you could use this feature to add a shared link to the file you want to access from another folder.

When you open a shared link to a file that you already have access to, and you're signed into your account online, it will simply point you to the file within your account.

Let me know if that would do the trick!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

learlo
New member | Level 2

Not good enough!

I've got two folders in DropBox and I want to access the same file/folder from both. From any OS, directly in the OS file system. If I need to use a web link, then what's the point in using Dropbox rather than any of the gazillion cloud storage providers?

Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Mark
Super User II

From Dropbox's point its around data integrity and safety - syncing only occurs on symlinks as and when the software restarts which means that it doesnt always have the most up to date files on all systems. 


 


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Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

learlo
New member | Level 2

Sorry Mark but I can't see the link (pun!) with the question.

Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Mark
Super User II

@learlo 

Basically the way Dropbox works is that it only looks at things in its own folder, so, when symlinks DID work they only updated and uploaded/changed/modified files when Dropbox was restarted. This meant that files and folders were frequently out of date and also caused conflicted files. 


 


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Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

learlo
New member | Level 2

Ahh I get you thank you. I'm not really interested in OS-specific symlinks connected to god knows what and where.

My context (and the original question as far as I can understand) is different. Everything is inside Dropbox. File A, folder B and folder C are all in DropBox. Synced all the time. File A is in folder B. I want "something" in folder C to behave like file A. This is what as a user I'm expecting to work on my desktop OS and I want the same mechanism to work in a shared file system.

As a user, I'm not interested in the slightest how this "something" is implemented inside Dropbox. What I'm interested in, is that it will behave "well" everywhere.

If I'm on a Mac it has to look and behave like an alias. On Windows like a shortcut, on Linux like a symlink. On the web interface similar to a file but with some visual clue.

 

 

Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

Mark
Super User II

Exactly - and thats the point, it didnt so because it was causing issues for people they just stopped it. Ultimately data integrity is paramount


 


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Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

learlo
New member | Level 2

Thank you Mark. Absolutely, data integrity is paramount. On the other hand, one has to think about the value of this product in this day and age when the feature set is just not good enough. Unfortunately in our case there soon will be no data left on Dropbox to keep safe. What a shame! Thank you again.

Re: Creating an alias or symlink to a file within Dropbox

rpfaffmann
Helpful | Level 5

Can you explain how an Alias is not supported on a Mac? And then why NOT? Its is critical to using drop box. If I have hundreds of folders, I need to be able create short cuts to my files! No one has said this to me after many tech support calls!

 Dropbox Support Ticket #15688184: Dropbox Support and Apple case 101599952443. This VERY frustrating!

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