Settin Up Docker And Dropbox

Shivam Kapoor created an excellent blog post on how to setup Dropbox using Docker to allow multiple instances to function on a system. I made some minor changes and used this to setup a laptop so I can work with multiple copies of Dropbox without issue.

How To

  1. Install Docker.
     $ sudo pacman -S docker

    Use your package manager to install Docker.

  2. Setup your user.
     $ sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

    Setup your user by adding them to the docker group. This is so you don’t have to use sudo to work with Docker.

  3. Get the Docker Image
     $ docker pull janeczku/dropbox

    User janeczku created a docker image that runs dropbox. Review the code yourself.

  4. Create the Docker Machine and the volume
     $ docker run -d --restart=always --name=RENAMETHIS -v /home/aaronj/Dropbox:/dbox/Dropbox -v /home/aaronj/.dropbox:/dbox/.dropbox -e DBOX_UID=1000 -e DBOX_GID=1000 janeczku/dropbox

    You need to edit the name of the machine, the locations you want to use for the volumes, and the UID/GID so you don’t run into permissions issues. If your user is aaronj you would do cat /etc/passwd | grep "aaronj" and use the UID/GID displaye so you don’t run into permissions issues. If your user is aaronj you would do cat /etc/passwd | grep "aaronj" and use the UID/GID displayed.

  5. Register the Docker Account
     $ docker logs RENAMETHIS
  6. Look for a line that says something like -

    Click it and login to register your Dropbox account with that container.

  7. Restart the docker machine
     $ docker restart RENAMETHIS
  8. Wait for the box to sync.
  9. Fix the file permissions.
     $ sudo chmod 755 /home/aaronj/Dropbox -R
     $ sudo chmod g+s /home/aaronj/Dropbox -R
     $ sudo chown aaronj:aaronj /home/aaronj/Dropbox -R

This resolved my issue and with the laptop being a single user system, I am unconcerned about the permissiveness of the settings because my system is a single user box with disk encryption. You may want to write a cron to restart the box every 10-15 minutes as well. The Dropbox daemon seems to have some issues within the container and it helps to just restart the container.


  1. How do I restart my dropbox machine?
    $ docker container ls

    You will want to find the name of the container you need.

  2. Then restart the machine.
    $ docker restart NAMEOFTHEMACHINE

This usually solves the issue. You can also create a cronjob that restarts regularly to solve any issues off the bat.

$ sudo crontab -s
# Edit the crontab to look like this -

# This restarts the container every 10 minutes. Edit this as you see fit.
*/10 * * * * /usr/bin/docker restart RENAMETHIS