Using WebDAV to access Box.net files on a Fedora system

Dropbox is by far the leader in the consumer “cloud storage” space; It is simple to use, feature rich and just works! But, there is only so much you can do with the provided 2 Gb free storage.

Enter: Box.net  — which has offered (for a limited period) 50 Gb free, lifetime storage, for all Ipone and Ipad users. Check here for the details.

However, I soon found out that Box.net does not provide syncing features that Dropbox is so good at, and there are no clients for Linux.

Lucky, for Linux users, a WebDAV interface exists.

I used fedora 15, but the instructions are generic enough that they should work on any release or any Linux distribution for that matter.

1. Create a folder to mount the box.net share :

$ mkdir ~/box

2. Install davfs2 :

$ sudo yum install davfs2
Note : Nautilus does support webdav, but I’ve found it to be buggy.

3. Run the following to add your user to the davfs2 group :

$ sudo /sbin/usermod -a -G davfs2 "username"

4. Disable locking, as this causes problems with box.net :

$ mkdir ~/.davfs2
$ vi ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf

and add the following :

use_locks 0

5. (Optional) If you do not want to be prompted for the box.net username/password :

$ vi ~/.davfs2/secrets

and add the following :

http://www.box.net/dav  user@email.com   password

6. Add the following entry to /etc/fstab :

$ sudo vi /etc/fstab

http://www.box.net/dav /home/"username"/box  davfs rw,user,noauto 0 0
Note: Don’t forget to replace “username” with your actual username.

7. Finally, to mount the folder run :

$ mount  ~/box

and the files from your box.net account should be visible.

Use “rsync”, “unison”, or just plain “cp” to sync files directly to box.net. I find this very convenient for backups and file sharing.