Is it possible to encrypt Dropbox on Ubuntu 16.04? Here are some solutions

To set it up, I utilized Solution 2. I communicated with Dropbox support regarding the problem and requested increased encryption and support for additional file systems. They provided me with a link to their website where I followed the given instructions.


Question:

On November 7th,
dropbox h
has declared that they will no longer provide assistance for various
Linux file systems
, except for the
unencrypt
formatted ext4. Kindly refer to the mentioned source for more information.

Check out the Linux system requirements for Dropbox’s desktop and web applications on this link: https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-web/system-requirements#linux

This topic is under discussion on the Dropbox support site, as well as on Twitter and Slashdot.

My home directory has been operating smoothly with ext4 and ecryptfs, but it seems that this setup won’t be viable beyond November 7th.

I’m considering wiping my system and reinstalling
Ubuntu 16.04
with full disk encryption. I’ve been advised that using ext4 on top of that may make the Dropbox client function properly. Can anyone attest to this solution?

Has anyone verified the effectiveness of creating an
ext4 filesystem
outside of the ecryptfs home directory and configuring Dropbox to operate on that filesystem, leaving the files on Dropbox unencrypted?

Can Dropbox be instructed to save its files without encryption in the /var/Dropbox directory?

Do you have any other recommended remedies for those of us who are utilizing ecryptfs+ext4?


Solution 1:

You can use Cryptomator.

  • A tool that utilizes open source technology to perform encryption of cloud files on the client-side, free of charge.

Install it with

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sebastian-stenzel/cryptomator
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cryptomator


Solution 2:


After reaching out to Dropbox support regarding the matter, I communicated my preference for improved encryption support and expanded filesystems. Their response followed.

Although ecryptfs encryption methods are not favored, Dropbox ensures the security of your data by endorsing full disk encryption systems like LUKS for Linux users. The protection of your information is of utmost importance to us.

The page outlining their system requirements has been updated to state that:

Dropbox can still sync with encrypted file systems that are supported, such as those that use full disk encryption like LUKS. However, ecryptfs is not a supported file system.

It appears their dedication to backing LUKS-based full disk encryption is steadfast, although this stance is subject to alteration down the line.

Can Dropbox be instructed to save its files without encryption directly in the /var/Dropbox directory?

It appears to be a feasible solution, though the downside is that the documents won’t be secured with encryption.

Are there any alternative recommendations available to users who utilize ecryptfs+ext4?

To encrypt the files, I suggest transitioning to LUKS and implementing full disk encryption.


Solution 3:


A GitHub repository named dropbox-filesystem-fix enables your
Dropbox folder
to seem like it’s on an unencrypted Ext4 filesystem, regardless of the filesystem you’re using (and whether or not it’s encrypted). To achieve this, you simply need to run Dropbox with a dropbox-filesystem library (LD_PRELOAD).

To fix the Dropbox file system, obtain the code from GitHub and compile the library. Then, replace the original entry with the dropbox_start.py script provided by dropbox-filesystem-fix.

For comprehensive guidance, refer to this page that contains detailed step by step instructions.


Solution 4:

Keep in mind that implementing Dropbox on an LUKS-encrypted partition usually involves the requirement of an additional password upon mounting the partition. In contrast, using Dropbox on ecryptfs+ext4, like in an Ubuntu system with an encrypted /home directory, only demands the login password.

This approach eliminates the need for an additional password, as explained in this link: https://askubuntu.com/a/818539. However, I’m curious why there isn’t greater backing for this solution. Perhaps more individuals will explore it now that we must transfer our
r dropbox
data from our encrypted /home directory.

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