Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

  1. #1

    Default Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    I've been a Linux user for about 12 years. Not long after getting into Linux, I discovered that Dropbox was actively working on a Linux version. They seemed to care!

    Since then, it seems to me that Dropbox has been the main option for cross-platform Linux-friendly file storage and syncing. Until now.

    They have changed their system requirements so that they require ext4. Their reasons are bogus.

    Hi everyone, on Nov. 7, 2018, we’re ending support for Dropbox syncing to drives with certain uncommon file systems. The supported file systems are NTFS for Windows, HFS+ or APFS for Mac, and Ext4 for Linux.
    A supported file system is required as Dropbox relies on extended attributes (X-attrs) to identify files in the Dropbox folder and keep them in sync. We will keep supporting only the most common file systems that support X-attrs, so we can ensure stability and a consistent experience.
    If you received a notification, but are running one of the supported file systems, it's possible that you may have recently had a computer linked that was running an unsupported file system but have been since upgraded, or that computer is no longer being used.
    Hope this helps to clarify matters!



    openSUSE uses Btrfs and XFS as defaults (I think I've got that right). So Dropbox is saying that they don't want their app to be useful for openSUSE users. I'm a paying Dropbox customer but I don't want to regress my openSUSE system - I like having my Home folder (including Dropbox) on an XFS partition.

    I hope it's okay for me to say:
    1. If you're a Dropbox user, make a protest! Social media perhaps. Or join the growing thread in the Dropbox forums. Perhaps they'll reverse their decision. Perhaps they'll be Linux-friendly again

    2. What alternatives are there to Dropbox? I want my files synchronised and backed up, and access to them when I'm out and about (e.g. from my phone or from another computer). I want photos on my phone to be backed up and appear on my Linux computer. Any good ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Diego, Ca, USA
    Posts
    11,264
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    It may be worth asking Dropbox for a clarification.

    Because I don't usually program extended filesystem attributes, I did a quick read and suggest the following on my possibly superficial understanding...

    - Although there might be an API somewhere, I'm going to guess that Dropbox code likely uses the xattr utility to utilize filesystem extended attributes like most other apps (The major well known apps are listed in the Wikipedia source below).. All listed apps likely do this the same way.
    - Extended Filesystems Attributes is a kind of standard which if supported by one, will work the same way in all supported filesystems.
    - All filesystems set up by openSUSE by default support extended filesystem attributes including BTRFS and XFS.
    - Current EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 Extended Filesystem Attribute support has size limitations where XFS and BTRFS do not(Does this make sense? Or maybe there is a size limitation but is so large that practically there is no limit?)

    The bottom line from what I read is that for any application that uses Extended Filesystem Attributes that would be supported on a EXT4 filesystem, there should be no issue on BTRFS or XFS filesystems because the latter filesystms have much less compliance requirementes and the method for utilizing Extended Filesystem Attributes is the same for all filesystems.

    Sources
    The xatt MAN page, which is the standard Linux utility used by an app to utilize, manage, create, etc filesystem extended attributes
    http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man5/attr.5.html
    The Wikipedia article which distills perhaps most important points from the MAN page
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extend...tributes#Linux

    So,
    It seems to me that Dropbox should clarify their reason for supporting only EXT4, and perhaps even review their dependency test as to whether that may be faulty disqualifying Linux filesystems unnecessarily (Of course such a test would be more accurate if it actually attempted to set and read a test attribute rather than simply query for the filesystem name)

    IMO,
    TSU
    Beginner Wiki Quickstart - https://en.opensuse.org/User:Tsu2/Quickstart_Wiki
    Solved a problem recently? Create a wiki page for future personal reference!
    Learn something new?
    Attended a computing event?
    Post and Share!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    I have been receiving the notifications about this every time I start up my system. I have tried to move the dropbox file to another hard drive but I am having problems. Can anyone guide me through the process.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    1,547

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by timvb View Post
    2. What alternatives are there to Dropbox? I want my files synchronised and backed up, and access to them when I'm out and about (e.g. from my phone or from another computer). I want photos on my phone to be backed up and appear on my Linux computer. Any good ideas?
    Mega has a Linux friendly sync client - although I haven't used it for quite some time.

    https://mega.nz/sync

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by farcusnz View Post
    Mega has a Linux friendly sync client - although I haven't used it for quite some time.

    https://mega.nz/sync
    I was about to try it, I see they maintain several OpenSUSE versions too.

    I've used it in Debian, Windows and Android phones in the past, and liked it more than DB, but it depends on your needs and workflow I guess.

    Some time ago, there was some concern about a big share holder with a dark past and a government both taking control of mega.nz. But if it's still encrypting client-side, I guess it should still be "safe" S:-^)9.

    EDIT: There's also a CLI tool for mega: https://mega.nz/cmd

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,997

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    I really have no idea how dropbox depends on the underlying file system
    imo it doesn't matter if the file system is xfs ext4 or even fat32/ntfs if the OS can reed/write files on it dropbox will support it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,997

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by calsioro View Post
    I was about to try it, I see they maintain several OpenSUSE versions too.

    I've used it in Debian, Windows and Android phones in the past, and liked it more than DB, but it depends on your needs and workflow I guess.

    Some time ago, there was some concern about a big share holder with a dark past and a government both taking control of mega.nz. But if it's still encrypting client-side, I guess it should still be "safe" S:-^)9.

    EDIT: There's also a CLI tool for mega: https://mega.nz/cmd
    mega have a nice free package of 50 GiB of encrypted storage but they've limited bandwidth to I believe to 5 GiB per 4 hours or so
    I have a couple of Disk images stored there in split archives and I couldn't get all of the parts had to wait a few hours to get them all
    but you get what you pay for I only have 2 GiB on dropbox and use none of it I have over 200 GiB on mega (I have multiple accounts) and use 90% of it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    25,124

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by I_A View Post
    I really have no idea how dropbox depends on the underlying file system
    imo it doesn't matter if the file system is xfs ext4 or even fat32/ntfs if the OS can reed/write files on it dropbox will support it
    I am also curious, but did not dare to ask because it would show that I know almost nothing about how Dropbox functions .
    And it would be a bit off-topic to ask for teachings in Dropbox.
    Henk van Velden

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    They're probably limiting support to ext4 file system simply due to manpower limitations. I don't know what's involved in maintaining their code, but it doesn't make sense to spend a large portion of their resources maintaining support for multiple file systems for users that constitute probably less than 1% of their total, whereas the other 99+% are using three file systems. Is ext4 the most commonly used file system on linux? It's what I use, on both my root and home partitions. If it's important, just use ext4. There is no practical difference between ext4 and xfs for the vast majority of desktop/laptop users.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Posts
    19,841
    Blog Entries
    14

    Default Re: Dropbox will soon only support ext4 filesystems. Not good news!

    Here's what you get from relying on companies like dropbox, mega ( yes ). The moment you sign up, you agree to any future changes they'll make. Simple. Dropbox is not a free service, it's a commercial company. Ditto for Box, Mega and whatever others there are out there. The alternative? Here it comes:
    - A (sub)domainname ( ~$ 10 / year max )
    - A Raspberry Pi ( $ 35 )
    - An external HDD ( preferably powered, ~$ 50 / TB )
    - An openSUSE Leap 15 install with LAMP server and Nextcloud.
    That way you can even move your calendaring, contacts etc. away from Google e.a.
    Did that a couple of years ago, never regretted, specially not on previous occasions like this one. If it wasn't for community members getting in trouble, I wouldn't care less.
    ° Appreciate my reply? Click the star and let me know why.

    ° Perfection is not gonna happen. No way.

    https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board#Members
    http://en.opensuse.org/User:Knurpht
    http://nl.opensuse.org/Gebruiker:Knurpht

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •