You may run the installation of Dropbox in your home directory on your own. Please follow the instructions below for the installation. If the steps are not clear and you would like some help, or they do not work for you, please let us know:

  • On a terminal window, do the following:
  • Change present working directory to your home directory: cd /home/USERNAME
  • Create a dummy Dropbox directory (case sensitive): mkdir Dropbox
  • Change present working directory to /scratch: cd /scratch
  • Create a directory with your username: mkdir USERNAME
  • Run the Dropbox installer: cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf -
  • Note: You may have to run the installer twice as the first time may run into permissions errors.
  • Change present working directory to your home directory: cd ~
  • Create a /bin directory. Create /bin only if you do not have a directory named /bin already: mkdir bin
  • Change present working directory to ~/bin: cd ~/bin
  • Create a symbolic link to the executable "dropboxd": ln -s ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd dropbox
  • Note: This points "dropbox" on the terminal to your new installation of Dropbox in ~/bin and not the system's that is located in /user/local/bin)
  • Run Dropbox and log in.
  • The default location for Dropbox is /home/USERNAME/Dropbox, so you should get a message saying that a Dropbox folder already exists in that location (created in the first step) and asking you to choose another location.
  • Select /scratch/USERNAME and then click "choose" to confirm (the "/" directory is large and it may seem to freeze when you type it in, but it's actually just loading and may take a couple of minutes before you can type out the rest).
  • Finally, click on "Open my Dropbox folder" and all of your data will start synchronizing to the new location.
  • Remove the dummy Dropbox directory in your home directory: cd /home/USERNAME then rm Dropbox

Dropbox exists on the hard drive of your machine (HOSTNAME) which means that if you ever access Dropbox remotely by SSH'ing into access.cims.nyu.edu, you will have to then SSH into your machine before you can reach /scratch/USERNAME as the Dropbox directory there will not follow you as your home directory does. On that note, I will stress that you should only run Dropbox on your local machine as running it on another machine in our network will cause Dropbox to believe that you have deleted or moved your Dropbox directory and will ask you to either exit the application or re-link Dropbox to another location. Keep this in mind should you ever receive a new machine as this process will have to be started over again if that happens.