Dropbox + Linux + Folder in ‘another’ drive = need automount on startup!
I have installed Ubuntu on a laptop with Windows Vista. I must keep Vista by the moment, so dual boot is OK. After installing Ubuntu, I decided to install Dropbox firstly. I thought: “Well, I will keep the same folder for Vista and Linux, so no hard disk space is wasted.” And so I did.
Any usual Linux user perfectly know what is going to happen: the system boots, Dropbox is loaded on startup, Dropbox tries to sync its folders and… there is no hard drive!
The problem (less drama)
Well, in fact there is hard drive. It is just that Linux need to mount any drive in order to use it. So you have two basic options:
- Deactivate autostart for Dropbox. You run Dropbox when you want… after having mounted the needed drive.
- Automount the needed drive on startup.
Easy and painless way
[I’ve just explained the third method exposed here to solve the Dropbox issue]
Let’s suppose that you have your Dropbox folder on your Data hard drive (you know, Vista has two partitions by default: Vista and Data). So you have, let’s say, D:\Data\Dropbox as your sync folder. If you are reading this, you possibly are not a Linux guru (by far), and it’s very probable that you have Ubuntu as your distro.
If you open the file explorer (Nautilus or any other) you will see Data and Vista on your ‘tree view’. When you click on a drive, it is mounted so you can access data inside. We need to do this automatically on startup.
For such a task, we will use pysdm, which is a little application with a graphical interface. Open a terminal and type pysdm. If it is not installed, Linux will tell you. You can install it automatically by typing sudo apt-get install pysdm. After a little while, you will be able to run pysdm.
The app, pysdm, shows all physical drives on the left (sda, sdc, …). We need to identify which sda is our Data drive. Go to the console and type mount. Look for ‘Data’ on the output [you can type mount | grep Data to make it easier :P]. At the beginning of the output you will see something like /dev/sda3 . Now you have the link between the ‘dev’ identifier (sda3) and the mounting point (/mount/Data).
Now, go to the pysdm window. Click on the correct sda row on the left. It will ask you about configuring it: click yes. You can type now the ‘Name’ for the mounting point. Type ‘Data’ and apply. Next time you reboot your Linux, that drive will be mounted before Dropbox starts.