Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Getting rid of a Dropbox error message on a Linux-powered PC

24th September 2012

One of my PC’s has ended up becoming a testing ground for a number of Linux distributions. The list has included openSUSE, Fedora, Arch and LMDE with Sabayon being the latest incumbent. From Arch onwards in that list though, a message has appeared on loading the desktop with every one of these when I have Dropbox’s client set up on there:

Unable to monitor entire Dropbox folder hierarchy. Please run “echo 100000 | sudo tee /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches” and restart Dropbox to correct the problem.

Even applying the remedy that the message suggests won’t permanently fix the problem. For that, you need to edit /etc/sysctl.conf with superuser access and add the following line to it:

fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 100000

With that in place, you can issue the following command to fix the problem in the current session (assuming your user account is listed in /etc/sudoers):

sudo sysctl -p & dropbox stop & dropbox start

A reboot should demonstrate that the messages no longer appear again. For a good while, I had ignored it but curiosity eventually got me to find out how it could be stopped and led to what you find above.

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