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Opening a database from Dropbox (mobile)

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2012-03-09
2013-05-30
  • Hi! I've been using KeePass for years and now have installed the mobile version on all my Android devices. What I need is to be able to open my database from my Dropbox account, so to avoid sync'ing the different devices with my laptop (master). I've uploaded the db to some Dropbox folder but am unable to open from Keepass (still stuck with the old file explorer).

    Any chance to do this?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

     
  • Drs. Prei
    Drs. Prei
    2012-03-09

    Go to the Dropboxfolder with your KeePass-database. Tap on the name of the database. Dropbox will load your database and open KeePass. It's that simple :)

     
  • Tony Gravagno
    Tony Gravagno
    2012-03-26

    I'm just doing this for the first time. This doesn't link KeePass to DropBox. What happens is that when you click a file, DropBox downloads the file to:
    /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/com.dropbox.android/files/scratch/foldername/filename.kdbx

    Then it launches the application which opens that file. Yes, it all works great.

    But let's say you update the file on your PC and want to see that update in the Android. You can't just re-open the KeePass to the same database, because as we see above, a copy of the file is in a scratch folder, not attached to DropBox.

    So the rule is: If you know that you have an update, open DropBox and click on that file. But if you know that there are no updates to the data you need, just open KeePass locally through your normal icon.

    A real live sync to DropBox would be way kewl. But given this simple process I don't think anyone should waste the development effort.

     
  • Paul
    Paul
    2012-03-29

    Doesn't Dropbox do the sync for you? Then you just open the local copy?

    cheers, Paul

     
  • Tony Gravagno
    Tony Gravagno
    2012-03-29

    No, I've just verified that DropBox does not automatically refresh the Android file system, and I wouldn't expect it to. DropBox isn't maintaining a mirror with the client file system, it's hosting a single common file.

    I don't know if the issue is with KeePass or DropBox that if we want to access a file that it's copied to the local Android file system first before accessing. If it were operating like other FUSE implementations, when KeePass did the Open it would open the remote DropBox instance with no understanding that it's not opening a local instance. I'm guessing one product or the other is copying the file purely as a matter of avoiding too much network chatter and thus cost to the device owner. Because the path is com.dropbox.android, I'm inclined to thing DropBox is doing this.

    I don't see anything in DropBox settings that allows it to force a re-sync with scratch files in the device.
    Maybe they're "smart enough" to download the file because it's only being opened for Read access - they know they don't need to sync it from the device back to the server because it can't be updated. The error here (arguably) is that they're just not refreshing when there is a server update.

    That's all I can tell ya - anyone with a clue want to chime in?

     
  • emueyes
    emueyes
    2012-06-04

    I think there is more to it; I can create a text file, save it to the Dropbox location in Windows, open and update it on my Android tablet, and then the Windows text editor will tell me that the file has been altered. That's about as good as the sync'ing can be I guess, no one wants to fiddle with diff directives.

    I don't know if it's KeePass, or binary files in general that don't do this. It really is a pain - having sync'ed password lists is one of the most important uses for small clouds storage like this.

    KeePass also opens the file read-only it seems, I can't seem to add or edit entries.

     
  • Paul
    Paul
    2012-06-04

    KeePassDroid for V2 files is read only so a simple DropBox sync is all you need.

    If you want read write sync you need to use the "2 copy" method.

    cheers, Paul

     
  • emueyes
    emueyes
    2012-06-04

    Ah, I just read the "Multiple User Question" thread.. Heh, I saw the triggers in the KeePass docs and thought there may be a crafty way of exporting to a v1.x file when updated, but you got there first :) OK, so a save on the Windows (master) kbdx triggers an export to a v 1.x file in Dropbox. It's not clear to me that a v 1.x file can be successfully  merged into a v2.x file though, on the (rare) occasion I'd create entries on the fly as it were. There's no need to automate it, at any rate, and I don't care if changes aren't instantly promulgated to other machines. I've got two computers and an Android tablet, no big deal.

    I may not actively change two files simultaneously, but the Windows copy is always open. It looks like a lot of people are in this situation, too. Reading comments on the KeePassDroid site, this has been going on since 2010 (!) with no real progress from the developer. If so, has there been any alternatives? I like KeePass, and if there's a way to keep using it I'd prefer to do that.

    I'm new to Android with the tablet, but will be getting an Android phone soon too, and then I'll want appointments and notes and contacts synchronised too. Heaven help me. Some Perl scripts and a copy of gpg might work better, but I'm getting too old for that, or for fessing around with triggers and glue scripts.

    Rob

     
  • Paul
    Paul
    2012-06-04

    Sync doesn't work with a V1 database but you can export to a V1 database post sync.

    cheers, Paul

     
  • feistypenguin
    feistypenguin
    2013-05-30

    Not to resurrect an old thread, but worth noting for others: In the newer mobile versions of Dropbox (2.3+), you have to "star" an item as a favorite from the app for dropbox to keep an offline copy stashed. (i.e. mimicking what it does on the desktop).

    https://www.dropbox.com/help/87/en

    However, it will not auto-sync an offline copy if you are on a mobile data network (the rationale being they don't want to kill your data plan.) You have to hit "update all" from the app to push updates while on mobile data. It should sync automatically if you are on wifi though.