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Authentication - is it still possible to run the desktop app as a user:group?

Authentication - is it still possible to run the desktop app as a user:group?

envole
Explorer | Level 4

Hello

 

Dropbox worked fine for many years.... but now it ask for the root passwd.

 

Is there still a way to run it as an user:group or should I definitively drop the d@mn thing ? 😞

 

 

==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.policykit.exec ===
Authentication is needed to run `/bin/sh' as the super user
Authenticating as: root
password:^C

[1]+ Stopped .dropbox-dist/dropboxd

 

 

10 Replies 10

Re: Authentication

Daphne
Dropboxer

Hey there @envole, thanks for reaching out!

 

Would you mind letting me know a little more info about your current set up, just to make sure we're on the same page?

 

Eg. the OS version and the version of the desktop app installed.

 

Keep me posted!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Authentication

envole
Explorer | Level 4

Hi

 

The version is: dropbox-lnx.x86_64-107.3.412 :

 

dropbox: load fq extension '/home/dropbox/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86_64-107.3.416/PyQt5.QtCore.cpython-37m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so'
dropbox: load fq extension '/home/dropbox/.dropbox-dist/dropbox-lnx.x86_64-107.3.416/PyQt5.QtGui.cpython-37m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so'
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.policykit.exec ===
Authentication is needed to run `/bin/sh' as the super user
Authenticating as: root
password:^C
[1]+ Killed .dropbox-dist/dropboxd

 

 

The OS is Slackware 14.2, kernel 4.4.227, headless with no desktop (X11) or graphic card, so no need of that "freedesktop" stuff.

 

From 2012 to 2019 it worked well. If I launch an old version of Dropbox, It works for some days until Dropbox update itself and then stop. The logs in ~/.dropbox/logs are unreadable.

 

Re: Authentication

envole
Explorer | Level 4

BTW, you changed the title to "is it possible to run  the desktop app as user:group"

 

I don't want to run a "desktop app" but Dropbox as a daemon in the background - like I used to - with no root password

Even if I launch it as a GUI I don't get why it need root privilege: My file manager, the browser I use to write here, all run 100% with my rights. Same for my p2p, bitcoind, SQL, etc, they all run with their own rights; root is not involved so no messy thing can happen. So why Dropbox ask for it? :thinking:

Re: Authentication

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hey @envole, thanks for the additional information. 

 

Just to make sure that we cover as much initial troubleshooting as possible, could you let us know if you've tried installing the latest stable version of the desktop app (106.4.368)? 

 

Let us know how it goes, cheers!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Authentication

envole
Explorer | Level 4

 

I found the way to run Dropbox without giving out the root password.

Simply by hiting the "Enter" key several time during the initialization messages before this one appear:

 

==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.policykit.exec ===
Authentication is needed to run `/bin/sh' as the super user

It's not very elegant... but seems to work.

 

 

There should be a way to tell Dropbox that we don't need a "desktop" , something like:

 

.dropbox-dist/dropboxd --no-gui &

 

And BTW what is the corret way to stop Dropbox ? I used kill $pid which is not "elegant" too.

 

 

Re: Authentication

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

Hi @envole,

According your description, you manage files in your Dropbox folder using different contexts (throughout different local users sessions, either ones regular or system). Dropbox application don't tolerate entries in Dropbox folder assigned with different users! Since recently, if such thing gets detected, the application tries fix it itself. To change ownership elevated privileges are needed, of course. That's where the message you received, comes from. This practice is very dangerous and represent a huge security hole in Dropbox application, by seems security isn't a priority for Dropbox. It's no so hard a malicious code rides on such a insecure action.

Seems you're using beta testing version of the application (early release). If this is unintentional, get in your account settings and make sure "Early releases" is turned off, before you go further.


@envole wrote:

...

The OS is Slackware 14.2, kernel 4.4.227, headless with no desktop (X11) or graphic card, so no need of that "freedesktop" stuff.

...



@envole wrote:

...

I don't want to run a "desktop app" but Dropbox as a daemon in the background - like I used to - with no root password

...


The daemon is the same, so your note here is meaningless!


@envole wrote:

...

Even if I launch it as a GUI I don't get why it need root privilege: My file manager, the browser I use to write here, all run 100% with my rights. Same for my p2p, bitcoind, SQL, etc, they all run with their own rights; ...


Are you sure? 🤔 Did you check this or just suppose?

Anyway... A single "shot" solution could be running something like:

sudo chown -R "$USER" ~/Dropbox

This will make sure all stuff in Dropbox directory is your property. If there are still troubles try following:

sudo chattr -R -i ~/Dropbox
chmod -R u+rw ~/Dropbox

Most probably the application will not ask for root permission till next moment "alien" file gets "landing" into your Dropbox folder. To fix it permanently, investigate where these "aliens" are coming from and take appropriate actions.

It's much more convenient managing Dropbox application using provided control script. Rename it to "dropbox", assign executable permissions using:

chmod a+x dropbox

... and (optionally) move it to some place in the PATH list, so be more convenient for execution. Next, all available commands will be accessible. 🤘

 

Hope all this gives right direction, @envole.

Re: Authentication

envole
Explorer | Level 4

- Are you sure? Did you check this or just suppose?


Positively ! Take bitcoind for exemple, its own user & group with nice + ionice, no mess !

 

bitcoin 8964 1.4 19.8 3310720 793052 ? SNsl Sep23 186:42 ./local/bin/bitcoind

 

- This will make sure all stuff in Dropbox directory is your property. If there are still troubles try following:

 

sudo chattr -R -i ~/Dropbox
chmod -R u+rw ~/Dropbox

I'm not sure that Dropbox can handle a file after chattr -i I'll try.

 

And I don't want to make Dropbox the owner of the files as I'd like to run Dropbox as a shared directory, ideally.

 

/home/dropbox/Dropbox/shared/music -> /files/music/

 

But as mentioned in another post it can't follow a link neither read a file from an other users even with the 'r' permissions - it need 'w' to set too.

 

 

 

Re: Authentication

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20
@envole wrote:

...

Even if I launch it as a GUI I don't get why it need root privilege: My file manager, the browser I use to write here, all run 100% with my rights. Same for my p2p, bitcoind, SQL, etc, they all run with their own rights; ...


@envole wrote:

- Are you sure? Did you check this or just suppose?


Positively ! Take bitcoind for exemple, its own user & group with nice + ionice, no mess !

...

You are contradicting to yourself! 🙂 Initially you said "all run 100% with my rights" and into next reply "its own user & group" - which mean different rights! 🤔 What is the correct statement? Can't be both.


@envole wrote:

...

I'm not sure that Dropbox can handle a file after chattr -i I'll try.

...

Exactly the opposite!!! If you have set (intentionally or not) "immutable" attribute, Dropbox (and not only) will not be able change anything (which is unexpected by the application)! When you haven't set such attribute, the particular command will do nothing.


@envole wrote:

...

And I don't want to make Dropbox the owner of the files as I'd like to run Dropbox as a shared directory, ideally.

... - it need 'w' to set too.

I see you have investigated and make some conclusions. That you have found out already is not the best, but it's so - unfortunately. 😒


@envole wrote:

...

/home/dropbox/Dropbox/shared/music -> /files/music/

 

But as mentioned in another post it can't follow a link neither read a file from an other users even with the 'r' permissions ...


You are right. Take a look here for more info.

Re: Authentication

envole
Explorer | Level 4

- You are contradicting to yourself! 🙂 Initially you said "all run 100% with my rights"

 

You're right. In english I type faster than my brain works !

 

- Dropbox (and not only) will not be able change anything (which is unexpected by the application)!

 

But as Dropbox check the write permission in order to read a file, perhaps it'll check this attribute too and see it as an empty file or write over and over errors messages somewhere in its logs.

 

 

 

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