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Open-source Dropbox client for macOS and Linux
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PyPi Release Pyversions


A light-weight and open-source Dropbox client for macOS and Linux.


Maestral is an open-source Dropbox client written in Python. The project's main goal is to provide a client for platforms and file systems that are no longer directly supported by Dropbox.

Currently, Maestral does not support Dropbox Paper, the management of Dropbox teams and the management of shared folder settings. If you need any of this functionality, please use the Dropbox website or the official client. As of v0.3, Maestral does however support the syncing of multiple Dropbox accounts.

The focus on "simple" file syncing does come with advantages: the Maestral App on macOS is 80% smaller than the official Dropbox app (50 MB vs 290 MB) and uses 70% less memory. The app size and memory footprint can be further reduced when installing and running Maestral without a GUI and using the Python installation provided by your OS. The Maestral code itself and its Python dependencies take up less than 3 MB, making an install without GUI ideal for systems with little resources.


A binary is provided for macOS High Sierra and higher and can be downloaded from the Releases tab. On other platforms, download and install the Python package from PyPI:

$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade maestral

You can also install the latest beta:

$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade --pre maestral

If you intend to use the graphical user interface, you also need to install PyQt5, either from PyPI or form your platforms package manager.


Run maestral gui in the command line (or open the Maestral app on macOS) to start Maestral with a graphical user interface. On its first run, Maestral will guide you through linking and configuring your Dropbox and will then start syncing.

screenshot macOS screenshot Fedora

Command line usage

After installation, Maestral will be available as a command line script by typing maestral in the command prompt. Type maestral --help to get a full list of available commands. The most important are:

  • maestral gui: Starts Maestral with a GUI.
  • maestral daemon {start/stop}: Starts or stops Maestral as a daemon.
  • maestral daemon {pause/resume}: Pauses or resumes syncing.
  • maestral daemon status: Gets the current sync status.
  • maestral daemon errors: Lists all sync errors.
  • maestral set-dir: Sets the location of your local Dropbox folder.
  • maestral dir-exclude: Excludes a Dropbox folder from syncing.
  • maestral dir-inlcude: Includes a Dropbox folder in syncing.
  • maestral list: Lists the contents of a directory on Dropbox.

Maestral currently supports the syncing of multiple Dropbox accounts by running multiple instances. This needs to be done from the command line. For example, before running maestral gui, one can set up a new configuration with maestral config new. The configuration name should then be given as command line option --config-name before running maestral. For example:

$ maestral config new "personal"
$ maestral config new "work"
$ maestral gui --config-name="personal"
$ maestral gui --config-name="work"

This will start two instances of Maestral, syncing a private and a work account, respectively. Multiple Maestral daemons are supported as well.

By default, the Dropbox folder names will contain the capitalised config-name in braces. In the above case, this will be "Dropbox (Personal)" and "Dropbox (Work)".


The following tasks could need your help:

  • Write tests for Maestral.
  • Detect and warn in case of unsupported Dropbox folder locations (network drives, external hard drives, etc).
  • Native Cocoa and GTK interfaces. Maestral currently uses PyQt5.
  • Packaging: improve packing for macOS (reduce app size) and package for other platforms.


  • Maestral is still in beta status. Even though highly unlikely, using it may potentially result in loss of data.
  • Network drives and some external hard drives are not supported as locations for the Dropbox folder.



  • The config module uses code from the Spyder IDE.
  • The MaestralApiClient is based on the work from Orphilia.
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