Many organizations use Box to store and sync files similar to Dropbox or the now defunct Ubuntu One. However, there is no offical desktop client available. But, never fear…Box supports WebDAV!

There is a community page that explains a bit of how this works. I’m using GNOME so we’ll use nautilus for the GUI part but other file managers such as Thunar also support WebDAV. We’ll need the the following to get started…

  • Software: cadaver(cli) or nautilus(gui)
  • Server: dav.box.com/dav
  • Login: Your Box email address
  • Password: Your password used to log in

If you log into Box with single sign on as I do, then you’ll have to create a password through the website once logged in. As per the community page, “The external password may be created in the Account Settings > Account tab > Create External Password

We can connect via the commandline with cadaver. Ubuntu has this in the default repos so a quick sudo apt install cadaver and we’re ready to go! The commands are similar to basic shell commands for manipulating files and folders but some are different.

➤  cadaver https://dav.box.com/dav
Authentication required for dav.box.com on server `dav.box.com':
Username: user@do.main
Password:
dav:/dav/> ls
Listing collection `/dav/': succeeded.
Coll:   GORUCO 2017                      7524047  Aug  3 13:21
Coll:   photos                          17009833  Aug  3 13:23
dav:/dav/> help
Available commands:
 ls         cd         pwd        put        get        mget       mput
 edit       less       mkcol      cat        delete     rmcol      copy
 move       lock       unlock     discover   steal      showlocks  version
 checkin    checkout   uncheckout history    label      propnames  chexec
 propget    propdel    propset    search     set        open       close
 echo       quit       unset      lcd        lls        lpwd       logout
 help       describe   about
Aliases: rm=delete, mkdir=mkcol, mv=move, cp=copy, more=less, quit=exit=bye

If you’d prefer a GUI solution, the pop open nautilus and click on Connect to Server. Enter the server address using davs as the protocol. This tells nautilus it is going to connect to a WebDAV server with SSL. Click Connect and you should next be prompted to enter your login and password.

box-webdav-nautilus

Upon successful authentication, you should see your Box files. You can click and drag files and fodler in or out just like any othe folder.

box-webdav-nautilus

Bookmark this with a right-click on dav.box.com in the left nav panel and choose add bookmark. And that’s it! Now you have a quick way to connect to your Box files without a web browser.

Other resources: