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Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Hank_J
Explorer | Level 4

I understand why I cannot make my Dropbox folder on an NFS-mounted filesystem, as per https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/desktop/move-dropbox-folder

As far as I understand, this only applies if I try to set the Dropbox folder on a share that is already mounted. I can't see any reason why I shouldn't use Dropbox to share a folder that is also shared out over NFS, provided that the machine doing the NFS hosting and running Dropbox is the same.
I stopped using Dropbox because I thought I could not do this, but now I am having issues with Google Drive and am revisiting my reasoning.

So, is there any reason I should not share out an existing Dropbox folder over NFS from the host computer?

6 Replies 6

Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hi there @Hank_J, thanks for checking in with us!

You are right, having the Dropbox folder on an unsupported file system can result in various error messages and behaviors. 

Having said that, could you please clarify how you'd like to share? What kind of setup are you trying to accomplish?

Keep me posted!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Hank_J
Explorer | Level 4

I have multiple computers in my house, and I do not want to use space on each machine for separate copies my Dropbox folder.
Since I already keep a lot of my files on an NFS server, ideally, I could just put my Dropbox on the NFS server. The server would thus handle all the syncing. Since the volume that is being shared is regular ext4, my understanding is that the server will see at as such (instead of as a share). The mere fact that that same folder is being shared to other computers over NFS should not make the underlying filesystem "unsupported", right?

If I am understanding correctly, the server OS should know about any changes made by clients, and thus Dropbox on the host will also know (or so I hope).

The only sticking point I can think of is file permissions, which I should be able to deal with using ACL rules on the server. Anything I'm not think of?

Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Lusil
Dropboxer

Thanks for clarifying that for me, @Hank_J

I wouldn't recommend following this setup due to unexpected behaviors can occur. 

Nonetheless, I'll leave the thread open for any other users who mayhave any additional input or ideas on this. 

In the meantime, if you have any other questions, just give me a shout. Cheers!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Hank_J
Explorer | Level 4

OK thanks, but can you be more specific about "unexpected behaviors"? Would these be things like permissions changes (and would they be made by the system or Dropbox)? Or does sharing a folder out as NFS interfere with the host OS's ability to track changes and inform Dropbox?
What exactly are the technical barriers to making this possible? 

Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Lusil
Dropboxer

The setup that you're describing isn't one we'd recommend as it can result in unwanted and unpredictable behaviors, such as permission errors, file conflicts, or even data loss. 

I understand that this isn't the ideal reply you were looking for, but I hope it helps to some extent. Let us know if you have any other questions, @Hank_J!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Sharing a local Dropbox folder over NFS

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

@Hank_J wrote:

...

The only sticking point I can think of is file permissions, which I should be able to deal with using ACL rules on the server. Anything I'm not think of?


If you count the owning as a part of permissions - Yes - that's the only issue. And you should take care of. You can run Dropbox and NFS server in the same context or you have to map NFS access to Dropbox context (whatever is easier for you). If I'm in your shoes, first option is better - same context - no any restrictions. :wink:

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