Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If UserA logs in to an OS X machine (at the GUI) and starts Dropbox, UserB logs in via ssh and adds a file to their Dropbox, will Dropbox work for UserB? Or does UserB need to log in via the GUI also, and then "switch" (not log out) to UserA?

share|improve this question
log in via ssh?! I didn't know dropbox supported that. are we talking about apple "drop box" or ? – cregox Jan 13 '11 at 18:39
Log into the Mac running the desktop client. I have tried to clarify the question. – user588 Jan 13 '11 at 19:07
up vote 1 down vote accepted

DropBox does not support not-logged-in users. The solution seems to be the following:

Log in and start Dropbox from the command line:

alias dropbox='/Applications/ &'
dropbox # start it.

ps aux | grep -i dropbox # shows multiple instances running

The above technique seems to work. Error messages are sent when the second Dropbox launches:

already someone listening at socket

RegisterApplication(), FAILED TO establish the default connection to the WindowServer, _CGSDefaultConnection() is NULL.

But everything appears to work.

share|improve this answer

The Dropbox app runs as the logged-in user, and uses user-specific preferences to determine which Dropbox it's associated with and where the local Dropbox folder is located, so I'd assume that means that it only works for the logged-in user. There's only one way to find out for sure though - try it and see! :)

share|improve this answer
I've tried it and it doesn't work, but I thought it is supposed to support this setup. – user588 Jan 12 '11 at 21:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.