Dropbox Interface from R
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richfitz and ClaytonJY Support for Dropbox's content hash (#158)
* Support for Dropbox's content hash

As outlined in #157 - this implements dropbox's content hash
algorithm (https://www.dropbox.com/developers/reference/content-hash)

Most of the tests do not require dropbox access.
Latest commit b6ac801 Apr 6, 2018


rdrop2 - Dropbox interface from R a_box

Project Status: Active – The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed. Build Status Coverage Status CRAN_Status_Badge DOI

Maintainers: Karthik Ram (@karthik) and Clayton Yochum (@ClaytonJY)

This package provides programmatic access to Dropbox from R. The functions in this package provide access to a full suite of file operations, including dir/copy/move/delete operations, account information and the ability to upload and download files from any Dropbox account.


# Current CRAN version (0.8.1)

# or the development version (


# This will launch your browser and request access to your Dropbox account. You will be prompted to log in if you aren't already logged in.
# Once completed, close your browser window and return to R to complete authentication. 
# The credentials are automatically cached (you can prevent this) for future use.

# If you wish to save the tokens, for local/remote use

token <- drop_auth()
saveRDS(token, file = "token.rds")

# Then in any drop_* function, pass `dtoken = token
# Tokens are valid until revoked.

Retrieve Dropbox account information

drop_acc() %>% data.frame()
# Returns the following fields
# [1] "account_id"            "name.given_name"      
#  [3] "name.surname"          "name.familiar_name"   
#  [5] "name.display_name"     "name.abbreviated_name"
#  [7] "email"                 "email_verified"       
#  [9] "disabled"              "country"              
# [11] "locale"                "referral_link"        
# [13] "is_paired"             ".tag"        

Dropbox directory listing

write.csv(mtcars, "mtcars.csv")
# If your account is not empty, it returns the following fields
#  [1] ".tag"            "name"            "path_lower"     
#  [4] "path_display"    "id"              "client_modified"
#  [7] "server_modified" "rev"             "size"           
# [10] "content_hash"   
# or specify a path
.tag name path_lower path_display id client_modified server_modified rev size content_hash
file mtcars.csv /mtcars.csv /mtcars.csv id:b-ac9BwzYUAAAAAAAAAxFQ 2017-09-27T16:21:56Z 2017-09-27T16:21:57Z 691634207848 1783 8c00dcec5f3e6bf58a42dcf354f0d5199a43567e88a9d80291bd2b85f53a54a5

Filter directory listing by object type (file/folder)

drop_dir() %>% 
    filter(.tag == "folder")

Create folders on Dropbox

# or provide the full path where it needs to be created

Upload a file into Dropbox

csv files

write.csv(mtcars, 'mtcars.csv')
# or upload to a specific folder
drop_upload('mtcars.csv', path = "drop_test")

You can also do this for any other file type and large files are supported regardless of your memory.

Download a file

# or add path if file is not in root

Delete a file


Move files

drop_move("mtcars.csv", "new_folder/mtcars.csv")

Copy files

drop_copy("new_folder/mtcars.csv", "new_folder2/mtcars.csv")

Search and download files

I frequently use a duck season rabbit season gif. This is how I could search and download from my public Dropbox account.

x <- drop_search("rabbit")
drop_download(x$matches[[1]]$metadata$path_lower, local_path = '~/Desktop/bugs.gif')

# Downloaded /public/gifs/duck_rabbit.gif to ~/Desktop/bugs.gif: 329.2 Kb on disk

Read csv files directly from Dropbox

write.csv(iris, file = "iris.csv")
# Now let's read this back into an R session
# Note that there is a quiet download happening to your temp dir
new_iris <- drop_read_csv("iris.csv")

Accessing Dropbox on Shiny and remote servers

If you expect to access a Dropbox account via Shiny or on a remote cluster, EC2, Digital Ocean etc, you can leave the cached oauth file in the same directory, or pass the token explicitly to drop_auth. You can also save the output of drop_auth into an R object, sink that to disk, and pass that as a token. If using on Travis or similar, you should consider encrypting the oauth cache file to prevent unauthorized access to your Dropbox account. If you have multiple tokens and accounts, it is also possible to override the environment token and explicitly pass a specific token for each drop_ function.

token <- drop_auth()
saveRDS(token, "droptoken.rds")
# Upload droptoken to your server
# ******** WARNING ********
# Losing this file will give anyone 
# complete control of your Dropbox account
# You can then revoke the rdrop2 app from your
# dropbox account and start over.
# ******** WARNING ********
# read it back with readRDS
token <- readRDS("droptoken.rds")
# Then pass the token to each drop_ function
drop_acc(dtoken = token)


  • Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

  • For bug reports and known problems, please look over the issues before filing a new report.