July 07, 2011

Multiple Dropboxen on Mac the right way

I really didn’t like the way other people explained setting up multiple dropboxen on a mac, which involved creating multiple directories and files, incliuding, of all things, faux app bundles. This bugged me, so I made a new launchd.plist and drive it all from that one config file.

First, create a file in ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.dropbox.alt.plist with the following contents, updating the USERNAME for your username.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
  <dict>
    <key>Label</key>
    <string>com.dropbox.alt</string>
    <key>LowPriorityIO</key>
    <true/>
    <key>EnvironmentVariables</key>
    <dict>
      <key>HOME</key>
      <string>/Users/USERNAME/.dropbox-alt</string>
    </dict>
    <key>ProgramArguments</key>
    <array>
      <string>/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox</string>
    </array>
    <key>RunAtLoad</key>
    <true/>
  </dict>
</plist>

Second, run the following commands:

launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.dropbox.alt.plist
launchctl start com.dropbox.alt

The Dropbox dialog will appear. On the “Setup Type” screen of their installer make sure you change the folder to a custom location that makes sense for you (otherwise it will put it in ~/.dropbox-alt/Dropbox).

Dropbox Installer

Done. No faux app bundles. Everything is controled by launchd, just the way it should be.

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