Dropbox, Ubuntu 12.04 and editing debian packages.

Ubuntu 12.04 release is imminent and at the moment Dropbox will not install correctly, here’s how to fix that.

The problem is that the official Dropbox installer (from here) is expecting an obsolete package libnautilus-extension1 (version 1:2.22.2+) which has been replaced by libnautilus-extension1a (>= 1:3.4.0). If you’re using the ubuntu.deb package you’ll have to change this over.

Keep calm! Editing a deb package is really easy! Just follow these simple steps in Ubuntu 12.04’s file manager:

  1. Download the package! (https://www.dropbox.com/install?os=lnx).
  2. Rename it by removing “deb” and replacing with “ar”. (E.g┬ánautilus-dropbox_0.7.1_i386.ar (or even dropbox.ar) ).
  3. Click “Extract here” from the right click menu and go into the new folder.
  4. Now “Extract here” for the “control.tar.gz” and go in to that new folder.
  5. Open the “control” file in an editor
  6. Now replace “libnautilus-extension1 (>= 1:2.22.2)” with “libnautilus-extension1a (>= 1:3.4.0)” and save the file.
  7. Now go back into the “control” folder and select all the files and click “Compress” from the right click menu.
  8. Select “.tar.gz” from the dropdown menu and then the “Create” button.
  9. Right click the new archive and select “copy”, then switch to the previous folder and select “paste” to replace the old file.
  10. New select the control.tar.gz , data.tar.gz and debian-binary files and then select “Compress” from the menu.
  11. Select “.ar” from the dropdown menu and then the “Create” button.
  12. Rename it back to have a “deb” extension instead of the “ar”.
  13. Install.

If you like, you can download an edited version here. Note that you should only ever install pacakges from people you trust, which in this case is me (Matthew Trust-me Wilcoxson)!

Hopefully, Dropbox will fix this soon but in the mean time this should get you up and running.

3 Replies to “Dropbox, Ubuntu 12.04 and editing debian packages.”

  1. I’m running 64-bit Debian, and I was really hoping the above was my solution. I was able to do everything except compress the result back to an .ar. Neither my file managers nor Ark had that as an option, even though Ark was able to unpack the .ar. I have ar installed on my system, but the command line options were too confusing for me to figure out how to use it.

  2. I finally was able to google someone who provided the ar command:
    ar -r dropbox.deb debian-binary control.tar.gz data.tar.gz

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