Box.com is a file storage service.

WebDAV access to box.com will be disabled as of February 1, 2019. At that point, the method described on this page will no longer work. See this announcement for further details.

git-annex can use Box as a special remote. Recent versions of git-annex make this very easy to set up and use.

git-annex setup

Create the special remote, in your git-annex repository. This example is non-encrypted; fill in your gpg key ID for a securely encrypted special remote!

WEBDAV_USERNAME=you@example.com WEBDAV_PASSWORD=xxxxxxx git annex initremote box.com type=webdav url=https://dav.box.com/dav/git-annex chunk=50mb encryption=none

Note the use of chunking. Box has a limit on the maximum size of file that can be stored there (currently 256 MB). git-annex can break up large files into chunks to avoid the size limit. This needs git-annex version 3.20120303 or newer, which adds support for chunking.

Now git-annex can copy files to box.com, get files from it, etc, just like with any other special remote.

% git annex copy bigfile --to box.com
bigfile (to box.com...) ok
% git annex drop bigfile
bigfile (checking box.com...) ok
% git annex get bigfile
bigfile (from box.com...) ok

exporting trees

By default, files stored in Box will show up there named by their git-annex key, not the original filename. If the filenames are important, you can run git annex initremote with an additional parameter "exporttree=yes", and then use git-annex-export to publish a tree of files to Box.

Note that chunking can't be used when exporting a tree of files, so Box's 250 mb limit will prevent exporting larger files.

old davfs2 method

This method is deprecated, but still documented here just in case. Note that the files stored using this method cannot reliably be retreived using the webdav special remote.

davfs2 setup

  • First, install the davfs2 program, which can mount Box using WebDAV. On Debian, just sudo apt-get install davfs2
  • Allow users to mount davfs filesystems, by ensuring that /sbin/mount.davfs is setuid root. On Debian, just sudo dpkg-reconfigure davfs2
  • Add yourself to the davfs2 group.

      sudo adduser $(whoami) davfs2
    
  • Edit /etc/fstab, and add a line to mount Box using davfs.

      sudo mkdir -p /media/box.com
      echo "https://dav.box.com/dav/  /media/box.com  davfs   noauto,user 0 0" | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab
    
  • Create ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf with some important settings:

      mkdir ~/.davfs2/
      echo use_locks 0 > ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf
      echo cache_size 1 >> ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf
      echo delay_upload 0 >> ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf
    
  • Create ~/.davfs2/secrets. This file contains your Box.com login and password. Your login is probably the email address you signed up with.

      echo "/media/box.com id@joeyh.name mypassword" > ~/.davfs2/secrets
      chmod 600 ~/.davfs2/secrets
    
  • Now you should be able to mount Box, as a non-root user:

      mount /media/box.com