Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!


Click here to return to the 'Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder ' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder
Authored by: gkurtz1 on Aug 15, '12 03:00:32PM

It's worth noting that when you add a sym link inside the Dropbox folder, Dropbox follows the sym link and syncs the data it points to, meaning that on the Dropbox servers, and on any other linked computers, that data exists as actual files, not as a sym link.

For this reason, it's actually generally better to put the actual data in the Dropbox folder in the first place, and put sym links in the original locations outside the Dropbox folder.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder
Authored by: frank_martin on Aug 16, '12 08:34:04AM

Whoa! So if I follow the original hint, I end up with duplicate data? Then that is no good for syncing data between computers, right?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder
Authored by: morespace54 on Aug 17, '12 11:22:15AM
Whoa! So if I follow the original hint, I end up with duplicate data? Then that is no good for syncing data between computers, right?
No, not on your "original" computer you don't have duplicates, therefore this hint. Let's put it this way:

Mac 1: Your original file is outside of your Dropbox folder, with a symlink inside your Dropbox folder (1 copy).

Dropbox servers: a copy of your original file from your original folder (because you've put a symlink in your Dropbox folder on your Mac 1).

Mac 2, 3, etc.: a copy of your original file from your original folder (1 copy) on each Macs.

But as mentioned earlier, if you make changes on your file from your Mac 2 or 3, the changes will be reflected on the Dropbox servers and than on your original file which reside on your original folder on your original Mac (thanks to the symlink in your original Dropbox folder).

Hope it makes sense.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder
Authored by: frank_martin on Aug 17, '12 12:41:40PM
...it's actually generally better to put the actual data in the Dropbox folder in the first place, and put sym links in the original locations outside the Dropbox folder.
Can I "merge" Desktop folders on two Macs this way? Or two Documents folders? In other words, in the Dropbox folder, create a folder called "Dropbox Desktop" and put all the data from both Desktop folders on the Macs in the Dropbox Desktop folder, then replace the Desktop folders in the home directories with symlinks named "Desktop" pointing to "Dropbox Desktop" in the Dropbox folder?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use symbolic links in a Dropbox folder
Authored by: frank_martin on Aug 17, '12 01:46:23PM

I tried this, and it worked. Both computers running 10.6.8. On one computer, the OS wouldn't let me move the original Desktop folder to the trash or out of the home folder, which I needed to do to replace it with the symlink, so I logged in as root to get that done. Upon logging back in as a the regular user, Viola! I have the same desktop on both computers. I am stunned.

The Finder window sidebar shows the name of the folder in Dropbox ("Dropbox Desktop",) not the name of the symlink ("Desktop"). That is probably a good thing, to remind me of the setup. But if I changed the Dropbox folder name to desktop, I could have a "transparent" set up.

The Desktop still works as expected of Dropbox isn't running, but of course sync doesn't take place.

Aliases placed on one desktop appear on the other desktop, but don't work.

I'd recommend a solid backup of everything before attempting this.

I have senior clients with multiple homes who may like this setup. They cannot really deal with any complexity at all: this gives them the illusion of having single desktop appear on multiple computers.



[ Reply to This | # ]