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Solution to Dropbox on Linux using all of memory.

Helpful | Level 5

I've struggled with Dropbox on Linux from time to time where it begins consuming all of memory, until memory runs out, and the OOM (Out Of Memory) handler kills it. I believe that I may have finally found the culprit: Recursive directory symbolic links...

 

Since Dropbox has no notion of symbolic links it just follows them and makes a copy of the contents. If a directory points to itself, or to an ancestor, a loop is created, and Dropbox keeps running around in circles. It keeps trying to find the leaf node in the tree, which doesn't exist, and its data structures just keep growing and growing till it uses all of memory.


I recently downloaded the Ubuntu and Systemd sources and the problem started happening on all my Linux machines.  I had an inkling that the links might be the problem a while ago and when it started acting up again I decided to look for all links in the new source trees and remove them.  The problem stopped as soon as I restarted Dropbox.

 

So, if you're having this problem try removing any symbolic links to directories.

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Re: Solution to Dropbox on Linux using all of memory.

Helpful | Level 5
I recently downloaded the Ubuntu and Systemd sources and the problem started happening on all my Linux machines. I had an inkling that the links might be the problem a while ago and when it started acting up again I decided to look for all links in the new source trees and remove them. The problem stopped as soon as I restarted Dropbox.

So, if you're having this problem try removing any symbolic links to directories.

View solution in original post

3 Replies 3
Highlighted

Re: Solution to Dropbox on Linux using all of memory.

Helpful | Level 5
I recently downloaded the Ubuntu and Systemd sources and the problem started happening on all my Linux machines. I had an inkling that the links might be the problem a while ago and when it started acting up again I decided to look for all links in the new source trees and remove them. The problem stopped as soon as I restarted Dropbox.

So, if you're having this problem try removing any symbolic links to directories.

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Re: Solution to Dropbox on Linux using all of memory.

Explorer | Level 3
This worked for me. I had been struggling for a few days and then when I read your post I found some circular symlinks. Thanks so much!
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Re: Solution to Dropbox on Linux using all of memory.

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
 Hey everyone, just a reminder that the Dropbox desktop application doesn’t play well with symlinks or junction points for exactly these reasons. 
 
Aside from RAM leakage, symlinks also cause high CPU usage, poor syncing performance, permissions issues, and quota usage disparities.
 
If you’re not sure that you have them, check the following article out:
 
 

[This thread is now closed. If you have a similar or new question, you can ask here.]


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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