While scouring the web, I recently found out that Dropbox actually released a Linux client binary and I thought I'd kick the tires and see if I could get it running on ESX(i). After a few minutes of testing, I found out that it was possible to get it running on classic ESX, but there are still certain python dependencies that prevent the Dropbox client to run on ESXi.
Before you begin, you will need to sign up for a free Dropbox account. With the free account you automatically get 2GB of free online storage, if you want more, you can pay for up to 100GB of online storage. The following has been validated on ESX 4.1, I have not tested this on any other ESX version and your results may vary. ESXi is not supported as mentioned earlier.
1. Download the latest Dropbox Linux Client here.
2. You will need to upload the Dropbox tar ball to your ESX host, you can use scp on UNIX/Linux or winSCP if you are using a Windows system.
3. You should not have the tar ball file sitting in the root directory of your ESX host:
tar -zxvf dropbox-lnx.x86_64-0.7.110.tar.gz
5. You should now have a hidden directory called .dropbox-dist in your current working directory:
Note: Once the default Dropbox path is set, you need to ensure that environmental HOME dir is always set to the one you specified above, else when you start Dropbox it will think it is a new setup.
7. We will now start the Dropbox daemon and ensure that we run it in the background:
8. If this is the first time you are using Dropbox, once you have signed in, you will be brought to the files tab in which all the folders and files that are currently accessible to you. By default, you will have a Public and Photos folder in which both are empty:
9. If you go back to your ESX host, you will now notice some output regarding nautils, you can ignore this error as the packages are not required for functionality:
10. Now, if you remember when we set the home directory to trick Dropbox to put folders under a VMFS datastore, you will now see a new directory called Dropbox which will contain the Public and Photos folder you saw on your web browser:
11. For demo purposes, I created a Backup directory in Dropbox root folder on the ESX host which will be visible from your web browser:
Earlier I mentioned that there are configuration files that tells the Dropbox client that this system is authorized to connect to your Dropbox account and it stores both the system ID along with the Dropbox path. If you do a long listing in your VMFS volume that was used to store your Dropbox folder, you will notice a hidden directory called .dropbox:
Here is what the host.db file looks like: