Dropbox walks back its own decision; brings back support for ZFS, XFS, Btrfs, and eCryptFS on Linux

3 min read

Today, Dropbox notified users that it has brought back support for ZFS and XFS on 64-bit Linux systems, and Btrfs and eCryptFS on all Linux systems in its Beta Build 77.3.127.

The support note in the Dropbox forum reads “Add support for zfs (on 64-bit systems only), eCryptFS, xfs (on 64-bit systems only), and btrfs filesystems in Linux.”

Last year in November, Dropbox notified users that they are “ending support for Dropbox syncing to drives with certain uncommon file systems. The supported file systems are Ext4 filesystem on Linux, NTFS for Windows, and HFS+ or APFS for Mac.” Dropbox explained, a supported file system is necessary for Dropbox as it uses extended attributes (X-attrs) to identify files in their folder and to keep them in sync. The post also mentioned that Dropbox will support only the most common file systems that support X-attrs to ensure stability and consistency to its users.

After Dropbox discontinued support for these Linux formats, many developers switched to other services such as Google Drive, Box, etc. This is speculated to be one of the reasons why Dropbox has changed its previous decision. However, no official statement from the Dropbox community, for bringing the support back, has been announced yet.

Many users have expressed resentment on Dropbox’s irregular actions.

A user on Hacker News says, “Too late. I have left Dropbox because of their stance on Linux filesystems, price bump with unnecessary features, and the continuous badgering to upgrade to its business. It’s a great change though for those who are still on Dropbox. Their sync is top-notch

A Redditor comments, “So after I stopped using Dropbox they do care about me as a user after all? Linux users screamed about how nonsensical the original decision was. Maybe ignoring your users is not such a good idea after all? I moved to Cozy Drive – it’s not perfect, but has native Linux client, is Europe based (so I am protected by EU privacy laws) and is pretty good as almost drop-in replacement.”

Another Redditor said that “Too late for me, I was a big dropbox user for years, they dropped support for modern file systems and I dropped them. I started using Syncthing to replace the functionality I lost with them.”

Few developers are still happy to see that Dropbox will again support the popular Linux systems.

A user on Hacker News comments, “That’s good news. Happy to see Dropbox thinking about the people who stuck with them from day 1. In the past few years they have been all over the place, trying to find their next big thing and in the process also neglecting their non-enterprise customers. Their core product is still the best in the market and an important alternative to Google.”

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