Dropbox Uploader is a BASH script which can be used to upload, download, list or delete files from Dropbox, an online file sharing, synchronization and backup service.
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Dropbox Uploader

Dropbox Uploader is a BASH script which can be used to upload, download, delete, list files (and more!) from Dropbox, an online file sharing, synchronization and backup service.

It's written in BASH scripting language and only needs cURL.

Why use this script?

  • Portable: It's written in BASH scripting and only needs cURL (curl is a tool to transfer data from or to a server, available for all operating systems and installed by default in many linux distributions).
  • Secure: It's not required to provide your username/password to this script, because it uses the official Dropbox API for the authentication process.

Please refer to the <Wiki>(https://github.com/andreafabrizi/Dropbox-Uploader/wiki) for tips and additional information about this project. The Wiki is also the place where you can share your scripts and examples related to Dropbox Uploader.


  • Cross platform
  • Support for the official Dropbox API
  • No password required or stored
  • Simple step-by-step configuration wizard
  • Simple and chunked file upload
  • File and recursive directory download
  • File and recursive directory upload
  • Shell wildcard expansion (only for upload)
  • Delete/Move/Rename/Copy/List files
  • Create share link

Getting started

First, clone the repository using git (recommended):

git clone https://github.com/andreafabrizi/Dropbox-Uploader/

or download the script manually using this command:

curl "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/andreafabrizi/Dropbox-Uploader/master/dropbox_uploader.sh" -o dropbox_uploader.sh

Then give the execution permission to the script and run it:

 $chmod +x dropbox_uploader.sh

The first time you run dropbox_uploader, you'll be guided through a wizard in order to configure access to your Dropbox. This configuration will be stored in ~/.dropbox_uploader.

Configuration wizard

The configuration wizard is pretty self-explanatory. One thing to notice is that if you choose "App permission", your uploads will end up on Dropbox under an App/<your_app_name> folder. To have them stored in another folder, such as in /dir/, you'll need to give Dropbox-Uploader permission to all Dropbox files.


The syntax is quite simple:

./dropbox_uploader.sh COMMAND [PARAMETERS]...

[%%]: Optional param
<%%>: Required param

Available commands:

    Upload a local file or directory to a remote Dropbox folder.
    If the file is bigger than 150Mb the file is uploaded using small chunks (default 4Mb); in this case a . (dot) is printed for every chunk successfully uploaded and a * (star) if an error occurs (the upload is retried for a maximum of three times). Only if the file is smaller than 150Mb, the standard upload API is used, and if the -p option is used the default curl progress bar is displayed during the upload process.
    The local file/dir parameter supports wildcards expansion.

    Download file or directory from Dropbox to a local folder

  • delete <REMOTE_FILE/DIR>
    Remove a remote file or directory from Dropbox

    Move or rename a remote file or directory

    Copy a remote file or directory

  • mkdir <REMOTE_DIR>
    Create a remote directory on DropBox

  • list [REMOTE_DIR]
    List the contents of the remote Dropbox folder

  • share <REMOTE_FILE>
    Get a public share link for the specified file or directory

  • info
    Print some info about your Dropbox account

  • unlink
    Unlink the script from your Dropbox account

Optional parameters:

  • -f <FILENAME>
    Load the configuration file from a specific file

  • -s
    Skip already existing files when download/upload. Default: Overwrite

  • -d
    Enable DEBUG mode

  • -q
    Quiet mode. Don't show progress meter or messages

  • -p
    Show cURL progress meter

  • -k
    Doesn't check for SSL certificates (insecure)


    ./dropbox_uploader.sh upload /etc/passwd /myfiles/passwd.old
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh upload *.zip /
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh download /backup.zip
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh delete /backup.zip
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh mkdir /myDir/
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh upload "My File.txt" "My File 2.txt"
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh share "My File.txt"
    ./dropbox_uploader.sh list

Tested Environments

  • GNU Linux
  • FreeBSD 8.3/10.0
  • MacOSX
  • Windows/Cygwin
  • Raspberry Pi
  • QNAP
  • iOS
  • OpenWRT
  • Chrome OS
  • OpenBSD

If you have successfully tested this script on others systems or platforms please let me know!

Running as cron job

Dropbox Uploader relies on a different configuration file for each system user. The default configuration file location is HOME_DIRECTORY/.dropbox_uploader. This means that if you do the setup with your user and then you try to run a cron job as root, it won't works.
So, when running this script using cron, please keep in mind the following:

  • Remember to setup the script with the user used to run the cron job
  • Use always the -f option to specify the full configuration file path, because sometimes in the cron environment the home folder path is not detected correctly
  • My advice is, for security reasons, to not share the same configuration file with different users

How to setup a proxy

To use a proxy server, just set the https_proxy environment variable:


    export https_proxy=


    setenv https_proxy

BASH and Curl installation

Debian & Ubuntu Linux:

    sudo apt-get install bash (Probably BASH is already installed on your system)
    sudo apt-get install curl


    cd /usr/ports/shells/bash && make install clean
    cd /usr/ports/ftp/curl && make install clean

You need to install these packages:

  • curl
  • ca-certificates

Build cURL from source:


DropShell is an interactive DropBox shell, based on DropBox Uploader:

DropShell v0.2
The Intractive Dropbox SHELL
Andrea Fabrizi - andrea.fabrizi@gmail.com

Type help for the list of the available commands.

andrea@Dropbox:/$ ls
 [D] 0       Apps
 [D] 0       Camera Uploads
 [D] 0       Public
 [D] 0       scripts
 [D] 0       Security
 [F] 105843  notes.txt
andrea@DropBox:/ServerBackup$ get notes.txt


If you want to support this project, please consider donating: