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Problem: Dropbox recently stopped working on my Fedora 17 laptop.  Launching it from the Activities menu didn't start the process, and running /usr/bin/dropbox resulted in the following error:

$ /usr/bin/dropbox start
Starting Dropbox...Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1360, in <module>
    ret = main(sys.argv)
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1349, in main
    result = commands[argv[i]](argv[i+1:])
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 1220, in start
    if not start_dropbox():
  File "/usr/bin/dropbox", line 707, in start_dropbox
    stderr=sys.stderr, stdout=f, close_fds=True)
  File "/usr/lib64/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 679, in __init__
    errread, errwrite)
  File "/usr/lib64/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 1249, in _execute_child
    raise child_exception
OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error

Solution: Deleting ~/.dropbox* causes dropbox to prompt to re-install, fixing the issue for me.

$ rm -rf ~/.dropbox*
$ /usr/bin/dropbox start
Starting Dropbox...
The Dropbox daemon is not installed!
Run "dropbox start -i" to install the daemon
$ /usr/bin/dropbox start -i
Starting Dropbox...Done!

You'll then be guided through the dropbox re-install and asked to merge with your current dropbox folder.  Choose to merge.

Process: Google didn't help except show a bug or two filed against Ubuntu with this error.  Errors in subprocess.py generally indicate a problem with the values being passed in, and looking at /usr/bin/dropbox it showed the following on line 702:

db_path = os.path.expanduser(u"~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd").encode(sys.getfilesystemencoding())

Assuming this was the problem, and knowing that a dropbox re-install is easy, I deleted all dropbox directories in my home folder.  I'm not subtle enough to delete only the ~/.dropbox-dist directory but I'll try that next time.

Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2012 1:34 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Dropbox Fails with "OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error"

# re: Dropbox Fails with "OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error"
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Same problem on Debian Squeeze.
Same solution works. Thanks :)
Left by steve on Jan 02, 2014 2:40 AM

# re: Dropbox Fails with "OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error"
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Thanks for this great discussion.
short animated video
Left by Shohel on Mar 02, 2014 8:01 AM

# re: Dropbox Fails with "OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error"
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It seems it is enough to remove ~/.dropbox-dist
Left by Raúl Salinas-Monteagudo on Feb 26, 2015 10:34 AM

# re: Dropbox Fails with "OSError: [Errno 8] Exec format error"
Requesting Gravatar...
cheers mate!!!

You saved my arse!!!
Left by carpe_ictal on Jun 21, 2015 8:48 PM

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