Given the circumstances, it is theoretically possible to sync Dropbox’s installation files through Dropbox itself to sync the same version of the app to multiple devices. This would theoretically allow you to update the app on one computer, and have the install files sync to other versions of Dropbox.
Please note that this is theoretical, and has not been tested on any computers. Do this at your own risk.
Before you begin, note that since each operating system uses different versions of the files, you will need a different folder for each operating system you have amongst your computers. I recommend “Dropbox Installation Files\OS”, where “OS” represents the folder for each OS (say, “Win”, “Linux”, or “Mac”).
To set this up, you’ll want to create a symlink between the folder to sync the install files through Dropbox, and the actual installation folder. In your computer’s terminal (or command prompt, if you’re using Windows), use the
cd command to get to the desired folder in your Dropbox, and then use
mklink to symlink the install folder into your Dropbox.
There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind when using this setup.
- Conflicted copies – If you are running a client with this set up, it will, at some point, inevitably need to update something in the install directory. If you have two clients with this set up running at once, you may end up updating the same file twice at the same time. This could cause a conflicted copy, and the extra file may cause some issues with the clients.
- Errors – if the client is running, and simultaneously downloading a file in the install directory, when it’s updated, you could cause errors in the client.
- Broken clients – In the same scenario described above, if you’re updating the client on one computer, as it downloads on the other computer, it will download the files one by one. If you have some files for one version, and some for the other, you’ll probably end up breaking the installation.
- Extra quota being used – Dropbox isn’t currently fully compatible with symlinks, so it’ll probably want to follow the symlink, and sync not only the file pointers, but the files in the original folder as well, effectively making each file count towards double the space.
All in all, it’s a pretty good setup if you want to risk it. However, it’s not recommended for the everyday user who’s not prepared to reinstall the client on a regular basis.