Directory junctions, Symlinking, and DropBox

Sometimes applications will not let you choose where to put their stored files and settings (for game saves, profiles, etc). But, sometimes you’d like to synchronize those directories outside of DropBox without changing the “root” of your DropBox folder. In that case, you can use symlinking in *nix or Mac OS X, or you could use directory junctions in Windows (at least Vista and 7). Here’s how:

On *nix, Mac OS X:
ln -s /path/to/source /path/to/dropbox/destination

On Windows Vista/7:
mklink /j C:\path\to\source C:\path\to\dropbox\destination

In my case, I’ve been playing Minecraft, and, as far as I know, I can’t change the directory used for saved games. Since it’s a cross-platform game, I’d like to be able to keep my saved games syncronized across all of my computers. By setting up a Minecraft saved games folder in my Dropbox directory, I was able to symlink on my MacBook Pro and a directory junction on my Windows 7 PCs.

Windows 7 (my DropBox being my user profile directory and not “My Documents”):
C:\>mklink /j "%appdata%\.minecraft\saves" "%user_profile%\my dropbox\minecraft\saves"

Mac OS X (DropBox being in my ~ directory):
ln -s ~/Library/Application\ Support/minecraft/saves ~/Dropbox/Minecraft/saves

Now my DropBox saved are synchronized across all my computers! Now, back to the blocks…

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3 Responses to Directory junctions, Symlinking, and DropBox

  1. Ian says:

    Hi garrett! I absolutely LOVE your online graph paper, and I’ve used it a lot, but I was wondering: How hard would it be to make an isometric graph paper ( version of this? I would die if you did. If you can’t/don’t want to, obviously that’s just fine.

    Either way, Thanks!


  2. Liam Thornley says:


  3. Tod Palin says:

    From Dropbox:
    Junction points and aliases

    Dropbox will follow Windows junction points (Windows Vista or later) and sync the files or folders they link to. However, any changes to those files or folders made from the Windows operating system will not sync again until the Dropbox desktop application is restarted. To get around this, move the original folder to your Dropbox and add a junction point from its previous location to link to its new location in the Dropbox folder.

    You need to create the game save folder in Dropbox and then symlink back to where they should be.

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