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Dropbox::API - Dropbox Ruby API client

A Ruby client for the Dropbox REST API.


To deliver a more Rubyesque experience when using the Dropbox API.

Current state:

First release, whole API covered.


From version 0.2.0, Dropbox::API::File#delete and Dropbox::API::Dir#delete are gone!!

The reason is that it's based on Hashie::Mash and was screwing Hash#delete.

It is replaced with Dropbox::API::File#destroy and Dropbox::API::Dir#destroy.


Dropbox::API is available on RubyGems, so:

gem install dropbox-api

Or in your Gemfile:

gem "dropbox-api"


In order to use this client, you need to have an app created on

Once you have it, put this configuration somewhere in your code, before you start working with the client.

Dropbox::API::Config.app_key    = YOUR_APP_KEY
Dropbox::API::Config.app_secret = YOUR_APP_SECRET
Dropbox::API::Config.mode       = "sandbox" # if you have a single-directory app
# Dropbox::API::Config.mode       = "dropbox" # if your app has access to the whole dropbox


The client is the base for all communication with the API and wraps around almost all calls available in the API.

Web-based Authorization

In order to create a Dropbox::API::Client object, you need to have the configuration set up for OAuth. Second thing you need is to have the user authorize your app using OAuth. Here's a short intro on how to do this:

consumer = Dropbox::API::OAuth.consumer(:authorize)
request_token = consumer.get_request_token
# Store the token and secret so after redirecting we have the same request token
session[:token] = request_token.token
session[:token_secret] = request_token.secret
request_token.authorize_url(:oauth_callback => '')
# Here the user goes to Dropbox, authorizes the app and is redirected
# This would be typically run in a Rails controller
hash = { oauth_token: session[:token], oauth_token_secret: session[:token_secret]}
request_token  = OAuth::RequestToken.from_hash(consumer, hash)
oauth_verifier = params[:oauth_verifier]
result = request_token.get_access_token(:oauth_verifier => oauth_verifier)

Now that you have the oauth token and secret, you can create a new instance of the Dropbox::API::Client, like this:

client = :token => result.token, :secret => result.secret

Rake-based authorization

Dropbox::API supplies you with a helper rake which will authorize a single client. This is useful for development and testing.

In order to have this rake available, put this on your Rakefile:

require "dropbox-api"
require "dropbox-api/tasks"

You will notice that you have a new rake task - dropbox:authorize

When you call this Rake task, it will ask you to provide the app key and app secret. Afterwards it will present you with an authorize url on Dropbox.

Simply go to that url, authorize the app, then press enter in the console.

The rake task will output valid ruby code which you can use to create a client.

What differs this from the Dropbox Ruby SDK?

A few things:

  • It's using the ruby oauth gem, instead of reinventing the wheel and implementing OAuth communication
  • It treats files and directories as Ruby objects with appropriate classes, on which you can perform operations

Consider the following example which takes all files with names like 'test.txt' and copies them with a suffix '.old'

This is how it would look using the SDK:

# Because you need the session with the right access token, you need to create one instance per user
@session =, APP_SECRET)
@session.set_access_token(ACCESS_TOKEN, ACCESS_SECRET)
@client =, :app_folder)
# The result is a hash, so we need to call a method on the client, supplying the right key from the hash'/', 'test.txt').each do |hash|
  @client.file_copy(hash['path'], hash['path'] + ".old")

With Dropbox::API, you can clean it up, first you put the app token and secret in a config or initializer file:

Dropbox::API::Config.app_key    = APP_TOKEN
Dropbox::API::Config.app_secret = APP_SECRET

And when you want to use it, just create a new client object with a specific access token and secret:

# The app token and secret are read from config, that's all you need to have a client ready for one user
@client =  => ACCESS_TOKEN, :secret => ACCESS_SECRET)
# The file is a Dropbox::API::File object, so you can call methods on it!'test.txt').each do |file|
  file.copy(file.path + ".old2")

What differs this from the dropbox gem?

Dropbox::API does not extend the Ruby primitives, like the dropbox gem:

Dropbox::API::Client methods


Returns a simple object with information about the account:

client.account # => #<Dropbox::API::Object>

For more info, see


When provided a path, returns a single file or directory

client.find 'file.txt' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>


Removes the file specified by path

Returns a Dropbox::API::File object of the deleted file

client.destroy 'file.txt' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>


When provided a path, returns a list of files or directories within that path

By default it's the root path: # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]

But you can provide your own path: 'somedir' # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]


Creates a new directory and returns a Dropbox::API::Dir object

client.mkdir 'new_dir' # => #<Dropbox::API::Dir>


Stores a file with a provided body under a provided name and returns a Dropbox::API::File object

client.upload 'file.txt', 'file body' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>


Stores a file from a File object under a provided name and returns a Dropbox::API::File object. It should be used for larger files.

client.chunked_upload 'file.txt','file.txt') # => #<Dropbox::API::File>


Downloads a file with a provided name and returns it's content 'file.txt' # => 'file body'


When provided a pattern, returns a list of files or directories within that path

By default it searches the root path: 'pattern' # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]

However, you can specify your own path: 'pattern', :path => 'somedir' # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]


Returns a cursor and a list of files that have changed since the cursor was generated.

delta = 'abc123'
delta.cursor # => 'def456'
delta.entries # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]

When called without a cursor, it returns all the files.

delta = 'abc123'
delta.cursor # => 'abc123'
delta.entries # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]

Optionally, you can set additional parameters, e.g. path_prefix. You can find all available parameters in the Dropbox API documentation.

delta = 'abc123', path_prefix: '/Path/To/My/Folder'
delta.cursor # => 'abc123'
delta.entries # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]

Dropbox::API::File and Dropbox::API::Dir methods

These methods are shared by Dropbox::API::File and Dropbox::API::Dir

Dropbox::API::File#copy | Dropbox::API::Dir#copy

Copies a file/directory to a new specified filename

file.copy 'newfilename.txt' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>

Dropbox::API::File#move | Dropbox::API::Dir#move

Moves a file/directory to a new specified filename

file.move 'newfilename.txt' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>

Dropbox::API::File#destroy | Dropbox::API::Dir#destroy

Deletes a file/directory

file.destroy 'newfilename.txt' # => #<Dropbox::API::File>

Dropbox::API::File methods


Returns an Array of Dropbox::API::File objects with appropriate rev attribute

For more info, see


Restores a file to a specific revision

For more info, see


Returns the link to a file page in Dropbox

For more info, see


Returns the link to a file in Dropbox

For more info, see


Returns the thumbnail for an image

For more info, see


Downloads a file and returns it's content # => 'file body'

Dropbox::API::Dir methods


Returns a list of files or directorys within that directory # => [#<Dropbox::API::File>, #<Dropbox::API::Dir>]


In order to run tests, you need to have an application created and authorized. Put all tokens in spec/connection.yml and you're good to go.

Check out spec/connection.sample.yml for an example.


Copyright (c) 2011 Marcin Bunsch, Future Simple Inc. See LICENSE for details.

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