Today I decided to free myself from my Dropbox account. I have been using Dropbox for almost 2 Years now as a free user. The 2 GB of free stage were sufficient for my documents and some pictures i syncronized with that account.

Reclaim your Data

My goal was to use my own Server to host a Sync-Platform similar to Dropbox but without the storage-limit and without the possibility of Dropbox giving away my Data to someone. I used incrontab and unison to achieve that goal.


The following packets have to be installed on the clients:

unison (for the actual synchronization) incron (works as a trigger) The server needs to have



Replacing Dropbox

Stop the Dropbox daemon

dropboxd stop

make a new sync-directory, copy the files that need to be synced to this dir

mkdir ~/syncdir
cp -r ~/Dropbox/* ~/syncdir
Set up a bash-script that takes care of the syncing process:


if [ -e "$LOCKFILE" ] then echo "Exiting... Sync already running"
else touch $LOCKFILE sleep 3 # waiting for file IO to happen unison -confirmbigdel=false -batch $LOCAL $REMOTE rm -rf $LOCKFILE fi

You probably want to trigger this script once for testing purposes and to overwatch the first sync-run. There may be questions to be answered to unison.

Almost done

Now all thats left to do is to tell incrontab to watch the syncdir for changes, plus to trigger the sync script once a change in the filesystem has been done.

fire up

incrontab -e

and put the following line into the editor:


Now the synchromization is up and running. Dropbox has been replaced :)