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Level 6

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November


@timvb wrote:

"Dropbox is looking to further develop the service, and to cut costs, has chosen to only support the most common systems."



Any way you look at it, whether technical, support, or marketing, this is a bad decision.  They want to support the "most common" systems, but those of us that are working on the "uncommon" linux are the people who do the research, develop software, provide support, and  make decisions about the buying of software.  If you want to choose 2% of your install base to cut out you've chosen the most influential 2%.  Also the 2% with the most knowledge on how this all works.

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Level 2

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

I've read all of this thread and some on Reddit (as have colleagues). Here is my summary.

 

1. This has nothing to do with encryption. Full disk encryption with e.g. LUKS will work. The encryption solutions that do HOME directory type encryption act as filesystems (and Yes they do support xattrs, but read on).

2. The reason that the HOME encryption solution will not work is just the same as why XFS and BTRFS won't work.

(Search the forum for bug reports from ages ago for people on those filesystems.)

3. Certain xattrs Dropbox depend on are always static on Ext4, they may not be on the other filesystems. This has been a source of the bug reports I mentioned above. Clearly, when the Linux client was coded static xattrs were assumed.

4. Dropbox have likely done the sums and they don't think this is worth fixing. With their decision, from 7/Nov/2018, they save themselves lots of support money and they get loads fewer reports from Linux users that their files are not synching (or worse).

5. Much worse for my University Business account (well my colleagues as I don't use Linux much myself) is the October 2018 Glibc version requirement - i.e. that it must be at least 2.19. I have spoken with SciLinux, Centos, RHEL and some Ubuntu users here and they are all on 2.17.

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Level 9

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November


@Ian C.2 wrote:

I've read all of this thread and some on Reddit (as have colleagues). Here is my summary.

....
3. Certain xattrs Dropbox depend on are always static on Ext4, they may not be on the other filesystems. This has been a source of the bug reports I mentioned above. Clearly, when the Linux client was coded static xattrs were assumed.

...

5. Much worse for my University Business account (well my colleagues as I don't use Linux much myself) is the October 2018 Glibc version requirement - i.e. that it must be at least 2.19. I have spoken with SciLinux, Centos, RHEL and some Ubuntu users here and they are all on 2.17.


Hi Ian,

 

I cannot refrain from making some comments.

 

What You are talking about xattr??? What kind of xattr is used  in Dropbox and can be used only on ext4? As I can see the only used attributre is named "com.dropbox.attributes" and contain 83 bytes data. No anything else! What make this attribute special and how is restricted the usage? (what is different in fact?)

 

In most recent stable version of Ubuntu (18.4.1 - Bionic) glibc version is 2.56. In this context where You find this 2.17?

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Level 6

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November


@Ian C.2 wrote:
3. Certain xattrs Dropbox depend on are always static on Ext4, they may not be on the other filesystems. This has been a source of the bug reports I mentioned above. Clearly, when the Linux client was coded static xattrs were assumed.

[...]

5. Much worse for my University Business account (well my colleagues as I don't use Linux much myself) is the October 2018 Glibc version requirement - i.e. that it must be at least 2.19. I have spoken with SciLinux, Centos, RHEL and some Ubuntu users here and they are all on 2.17.


This just confirms my hunch. When I got their email the first thought on my mind was “either ignorant or incompetent”. And when I first ran into their so-called “technical” explanation (i.e., the “answer” given in this thread) my thought was “they caused this themselves and are now blaming us”.

 

Like many others, this is a research department in a university and our collaborators are researchers. I’m the least influential in the department but I’m going to let my boss know we shouldn’t trust Dropbox at all any more.

 

(I actually installed Dropbox on my second Linux because Dropbox stopped working on my Mac and Dropbox has made it almost impossible to work on their web interface. So ironic.)

I would be really curious to know what kind of “bugs” have been reported on btrfs that are real bugs. I’ve never seen any bug with btrfs that I’m also not seeing on ext4.

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Level 5

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

I just received an e-mail about this that says, in part:

 

What to do next

Choose a new location for your Dropbox folder:

  • hostname, Linux 4.4.143-65-default
    Move Dropbox to an Ext4 drive

Why this is changing

Newer file systems let us use the latest technology to help keep your files safe and synced in Dropbox.

---- 

Two things:

 

1.  ext4 isn't a "newer file system".  It was first introduced into the kernel about 10 years ago.
2. I use xfs as my 'home' partition for performance reasons.  xfs has been working just fine with Dropbox for at least a couple years.  xfs (on my system at least) supports xattrs; in fact, if I run:

 

hostname$ attr -l Dropbox/filename.txt
Attribute "com.dropbox.attributes" has a 83 byte value for Dropbox/filename.txt

So it seems that it's not xattr support that's the limiting factor here, in spite of what's been written about this.  If xattr is the only requirement, then any filesystem that uses xattr should be supported.

Jay, I know this wasn't your decision and that you're just the messenger.  Please pass my dissatisfaction with this to the appropriate team.  I've been happily using Dropbox for years, and this change is, for me, simply unacceptable.

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Level 4

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

I've been running on btrfs for at least 5 years, probably more, and have never ran into any issues with Dropbox. I have, however, ran into several on my Windows machines...
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gi0 Level 2
Level 2

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

In the mail you sent regarding this change you write

 

Newer file systems let us use the latest technology to help keep your files safe and synced in Dropbox.

 

I use a newer file system (btrfs), which helps me keep my files safe, but apparently they won't by synced by Dropbox anymore.

 

Since I don't want to wait for someone offering a modified Dropbox package that works with state-of-the-art file systems, are there any recommended alternatives? My company uses Seafile and I have also used the Owncloud instance of another organization.

 

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Level 9

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

So much for the requirements Dropbox claims are behind their new crippeling restrictions put on Linux users. This is from Wikipedia:

 

"In Linux, the ext2ext3ext4JFSSquashfsYaffs2ReiserFSReiser4XFSBtrfsOrangeFSLustreOCFS2 1.6ZFS, and F2FS[8] filesystems support extended attributes (abbreviated xattr)........."

 

Many of those files systems are newer and more "modern" than ext4. In fact, most of them are. 

 

'nuff said.

 

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Level 2

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

Does this include support for an ntfs partition mounted under a ext4 system?
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Level 8

Re: Desktop app notification: Move dropbox location dropbox stops synchronizing in November

@gi0 various alternatives have been suggested - but it must be daunting to wade through all the comments here!

 

mega.nz (lots of free space, some questions raised about limits of uploading/downloading per month)

 

use inSync together with Google Drive 

 

ownCloud or nextCloud (perhaps via a home server). I shall probably get my own VPS and run nextCloud as a long-term solution; I'm currently testing a single-user account on another company's server.

 

pCloud <<referral links are not permitted>>

This is currently what I'm trialling. Just note a conceptual difference between pCloud and Dropbox - which is that files placed into the pCloud folder are stored on the cloud but NOT locally. That's the default, but the very easy solution is to set up a Sync between a local folder (could use your Dropbox folder!) and a folder within pCloud. Keep on using the Dropbox folder as normal and everything will be local and in the cloud, where you can share, access via iPhone/Android Apps, have automatic camera uploads and so on. Using Syncs means you can have multiple local folders backed up and synced across devices, rather than a single folder as in Dropbox. Feel free to use my link and give me an extra 1GB space! Where Dropbox gives 2GB free, pCloud gives 10GB and another 4 once you've completed some trivial tasks.

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