Dropbox is one of the more popular file-syncing utilities available. It’s cross-platform, which means that whether you use Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, there is a version for you. And because it’s available on whatever combination of operating systems you use, you can synchronize your files from one computer to the other, in any combination, so the files that are important to you are always up-to-date. The official Dropbox client for Linux is actually a Nautilus extension. Nautilus is the GNOME file browser, so right away, people using KDE (which uses Dolphin as its file browser) are in trouble. Thankfully, KFilebox exists. KFilebox is a KDE utility for using Dropbox on your KDE-centric Linux distribution.
KFilebox is really simple to use. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it from the project’s home page, simply start it up. The first thing you’ll see happen is that KFilebox is downloading the Dropbox daemon. The Dropbox daemon is the piece of code that actually watches over your Dropbox folder, notices when you add new items to it, and makes sure the files stored on the Dropbox server match the files in your local Dropbox folder.
Once the daemon has finished downloading, you’ll be presented with a series of getting started screens. You’ll have the opportunity to create an account (or log into your account if you already have one). If you want or need to upgrade the amount of server space your account is allocated, you can. By default, each Dropbox account gets 2.0 GB of storage space, but you can increase that to 50 GB or 100 GB. Those two plans currently cost $9.99 per month (or $99.00 per year) or $19.99 per month (or $199.99 per year), respectively.
Once your installation and everything else is set, you’ll be able to start adding files to your Dropbox folder. By default, your folder is stored inside your Home folder, but you can place it anywhere you like. In fact, one of the setup options is just that. From now on, whenever a new file is placed inside your Dropbox folder, KFilebox will notice the change and will upload the new file to the Dropbox servers. In addition, any changes made to any of the files inside the Dropbox folder, whether that change is a name change or content change, the updates will be synchronized immediately.
You also have the option to manage your files via the Dropbox website, and the KFilebox menu has a link to go there in your default web browser (which you can set in the Dropbox preferences, as it doesn’t otherwise seem to acknowledge your System’s default browser, if it isn’t Firefox). If you create any folders via the Dropbox website, KFilebox synchronizes those changes to your local folder. Likewise, any files you delete or move via the web interface will be shown on your computer.
I’m personally not a big Dropbox user. I’m actually not a big user of backup programs, as much as I realize how important having secure backups can be. I have an external hard drive where I keep my backups and other documents are stored in the cloud in a variety of services. But I have used Dropbox in the past, while using Ubuntu (with the GNOME desktop). As I watched the new KDE 4 series improving, one of the things (at the time) that kept me back was no Dropbox support. Eventually I stopped using Dropbox, but never tried KDE. Until a couple days ago, when Kubuntu 10.10 was released. And I love KDE again. And the addition of Dropbox support via KFilebox, while perhaps not a huge deal to me personally, should be a big deal to other KDE users wanting really good Dropbox integration..