I am using Dropbox 2.4.10 on OS X. I use Spotlight with an encfs-encrypted folder inside my Dropbox, which is mounted with the -o local option to get it to work on OS X 10.9 (see here). As a result, Spotlight puts a .Spotlight-V100 directory inside my encfs-encrypted folder. This directory, and all the files and directories within it, are owned by root:staff, which means Dropbox cannot synchronise them (I get an "Access denied" message from Dropbox on the Settings menu).

How can I get Dropbox not to attempt to synchronise this folder, and hence remove this message? Alternatively, is there another way to solve this (mostly cosmetic) problem? Note that the "Selective Sync" feature of Dropbox doesn't work for this problem, as the folder has never been synchronised, so doesn't appear in the list (at least, I think that's the reason).

  • The following question proposed a possible solution to your problem. It seems thatSelective Sync really should list the folder though. – Ramhound Jan 3 '14 at 16:26
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    Maybe you could create the folder manually first (not mounting it) with the folder you want to ignore, ignore that and then put in the real files. (If the problem is indeed permissions) – Jozef Legény Jan 3 '14 at 18:03
  • Jozef, good idea. I did a variation of that: paused Dropbox sync, changed the perms to my user on the encfs folder for Spotlight (but not the contents), started Dropbox sync to sync that folder, then went into the Dropbox settings and ignored it using Selective Sync. That seems to be working (including on my other machines, where the folder shows up empty). If you write that up as an answer, I can mark it correct. – Andrew Ferrier Jan 6 '14 at 21:06

if you have the folder inside dropbox, it will try to sync it. Create a folder by same name on dropbox website, and on Mac, stop sync of the folder. It wont touch it.

  • Sonal, this is similar to Jozef's solution in the comments above also. – Andrew Ferrier Mar 30 '14 at 12:56
  • similar, yes. I hope it works for you. If you find some other solution, which is more efficient, please do share with us. – SonalKhodiyar Mar 31 '14 at 14:35

The idea is to put everything under a single subfolder, and to hardlink just this internal folder into Dropbox:

  1. Move the encrypted folder outside of your dropbox. Let's assume it's called ~/enc-folder.

  2. Mount the encfs volume. Let's assume you mount it as SecureVolume.

  3. Create a sub-folder SecureVolume/SecureFolder and notice the name of the corresponding new folder that instantly appears under enc-folder. Let's assume it's name is fgwEGEHeh34.

  4. Move all of the other documents and folders from SecureVolume into SecureFolder (except of course for the hidden stuff, which is primarily the spotlight folder and your .encfs6.xml).

  5. Install hardlink.

  6. Run hardlink ~/enc-folder/fgwEGEHeh34 ~/Dropbox/fgwEGEHeh34

You'll now notice the fgwEGEHeh34 synchronizing perfectly inside your Dropbox with every change in the mounted volume.

VERY IMPORTANT: back up the hidden .encfs6.xml file since it's required in addition to your password to decrypt the files. I personally keep both the hard-linked ugly-named folder and a hard-link to the xml file, under a SecureStuff top-level Dropbox folder.

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