Ruby Dropbox Gem

An easy-to-use third-party interface to the RESTful Dropbox API.


gem install dropbox

Tutorial by Example

First things first: Be sure you've gotten a consumer key and secret from

# STEP 1: Authorize the user
session ='your_consumer_key', 'your_consumer_secret')
session.mode = :sandbox # might need to set this to :dropbox; consult your API account page
puts "Visit #{session.authorize_url} to log in to Dropbox. Hit enter when you have done this."

# STEP 2: Play!
session.upload('testfile.txt', '/')
uploaded_file = session.file('testfile.txt')
puts uploaded_file..size

uploaded_file.move 'new_name.txt'

# STEP 3: Save session for later'serialized_session.txt', 'w') do |f|
  f.puts session.serialize

# STEP 4: Play with saved session!
new_session = Dropbox::Session.deserialize('serialized_session.txt'))
 = new_session.
puts .display_name

Tutorial by Example, Rails Edition

A simple Rails controller that allows a user to first authorize their Dropbox account, and then upload a file to their Dropbox.

class DropboxController < ApplicationController
  def authorize
    if params[:oauth_token] then
      dropbox_session = Dropbox::Session.deserialize(session[:dropbox_session])
      session[:dropbox_session] = dropbox_session.serialize # re-serialize the authenticated session

      redirect_to :action => 'upload'
      dropbox_session ='your_consumer_key', 'your_consumer_secret')
      session[:dropbox_session] = dropbox_session.serialize
      redirect_to dropbox_session.authorize_url(:oauth_callback => url_for(:action => 'authorize'))

  def upload
    return redirect_to(:action => 'authorize') unless session[:dropbox_session]
    dropbox_session = Dropbox::Session.deserialize(session[:dropbox_session])
    return redirect_to(:action => 'authorize') unless dropbox_session.authorized?

    if request.method == :post then
      dropbox_session.upload params[:file], 'My Uploads'
      render :text => 'Uploaded OK'
      # display a multipart file field form

Features and Where to Find Them

  • Start with the Dropbox::Session class. The first thing you should do is authenticate your users and that class is how to do it.

  • The Dropbox::API module (attached to the Dropbox::Session class) is the meat and potatoes. Use it to modify a user's Dropbox.

  • The Dropbox::Entry class is a more object-oriented way of manipulating files. It's totally optional; check it out if you like OOP.

  • The Dropbox::Memoization module has some handy utility methods for memoizing server responses to reduce network calls. It's plug-in compatible with any caching strategy you might already have (memcache, etc.).

  • If you're using pingbacks, check out Dropbox::Event and Dropbox::Revision. Those classes parse pingbacks from Dropbox into Ruby objects.

Testing Your Code

The gem is fully specced. Run specs with rake spec. Before doing so, you will need to create a file called keys.json in the project root containing your Dropbox API key and secret, as well as the email and password for a Dropbox account. See the keys.json.example file to get started.

fguillen has implemented a mock of the Dropbox API server:

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)

  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright © 2009 Tim Morgan. See LICENSE for details.