Mount box.net Account on Linux using WebDav

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Problem

The problem with this is simple.  At the time of writing this, there is no native box.net sync client for Linux.  This really can put a strain on the functionality and usability of a box.net account when using Linux.  While the web based access works fine, the ability to send a group of files, or synchronizing files for offline use is not available.

Background / Cause

Linux is always an after thought for most organizations, companies, and everyone else.  This is because it doesn’t have a large market share, and so the ownership of creating the needed drivers and software in the hands of the Linux community, who as become quite good and finding workarounds and / or building the required software.  This is the case here.  box.net allows WebDav access and Linux has the tools to leverage this type of access.

Resolution

Begin by installing or making sure the davfs2 software is installed.  Issue the following to install:

sudo apt-get install davfs2

Create the mount point for accessing the files by creating a directory:

sudo mkdir /media/box.net

Mount the WebDav connected box.net account to the directory location created in the step above with the following command:

mount -t davfs https://www.box.net/dav /media/box.net

(Note: The HTTPS which will encrypt the communication and any supplied credentials)

The credentials can be automatically supplied by adding them to the following file:  system wide /etc/davfs2/secrets, or individually using ~/.davfs2/secrets

Edit either of the files depending on need using the following:

sudo nano /etc/davfs2/secrets

where nano can be any editor of choice.  Another method is to use the echo command.  This doesn’t require actually opening the file, but instead issuing the following command:

echo “https://www.box.net/dav [username] [password]” >> /etc/davfs2/secrets

where the “[” and “]” are not included and username / password are the credentials required to authenticate to the account.

The following line needs to be added to /etc/fstab to “automatically” mount the box.net account.

https://www.box.net/dav /media/box.net   davfs   _netdev,user,rw,noauto  0  0

The “noauto” switch will prevent the device from being mounted automatically.  Manually clicking the the “box.net” icon in the nautilus window or issuing the following command will still be required to mount the account.  Removing the “noauto” switch above will cause the account to be mounted at startup.

(Note: These instructions should work fine with previous releases of Ubuntu and also on Debian.)

References

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=202761

http://www.liberiangeek.net/2012/03/automatically-mount-box-cloud-storage-in-ubuntu-12-04-11-10/

Last Updated On October 24, 2017