Ever since I found out about Dropbox it pretty much replaced my USB pen drives, and freed me from my desktop as I could work from any PC without having to transfer files, pretty soon I had copied the sourcecode of my main websites to it so I could make updates and amendments when ever and where ever I got the chance. I’ve also incorporated Dropbox into our backup routine at work, periodically sending copies of important files.
When backing up the database at work, I transfer the database from our ubuntu fileserver to the Dropbox on my windows 7 pc, which is a pretty painless process but the cloud version was only as current as my last backup and I often need the most recent copy at home with me…
I finally got time to look at this situation and went about installing Dropbox as a service on our ubuntu box, so I could copy files locally on the ubuntu box, installation itself is a pretty simple process.
I then spent several hours trying to move the Dropbox folder from it’s default location to a more suitable location to no avail.
At this point symbolic links became the answer to not only my inability to move the Dropbox folder in a headless unixx server but also to the other major annoyance Dropbox has, like USB Pens, duplicate files on my development PC (I’m a bit anal, and have different hard disks and partitions for each area of my work.
Symbolic links are basically links to other files or folders that the system treats as the source files or folders, so for example, I have website “A” in folder X/Y/Z so in my dropbox I have a folder called websites and then a symbolic link to folder “Z”, this means if I chance files in X/Y/Z these files are automatically sent to the cloud by Dropbox.
Benefits of Dropbox + Symlinks
- Backups & Currency: Files are automatically backed up to the cloud on change.
- Organisation: Files anywhere on your PC can be synced not just the files in your Dropbox.