Macros for Maestral (Lightweight Dropbox Client)

These macros are for the clever folk who, like myself, have dropped the native, bloated, non-M1 Dropbox client in favour of the excellent Maestral.

App: Maestral (Dropbox) Macros.kmmacros (35.2 KB)

Macros included:

Configuration:

• _Maestral config - You need to edit include your local Dropbox folder path

For Finder:

Dropbox: Copy Link (Works similarily to Copying Dropbox Public Link in the first party client, for files and folders)
Dropbox File: Exclude from Sync - Removes local copy of file from your computer, keeping it just in the cloud. A convenient alternative to manually editing the Selective Sync settings in Maestral preferences. Works with multiple selected files/folders)

For Chrome (Sorry, I wish I could use Safari / Firefox as my main browser)

Dropbox Folder: Add to Local Sync - Grabs the current Chrome path while browsing your Dropbox.com folders, and adds that folder to your Selective Sync, so the folder downloads locally.

Prerequisites

• These macros assume that Maestral is currently showing as "up to date", instead of updating / syncing files.
• Maestral CLI must be enabled, which it isn't by default

Caveats

  • There are best practices some KM experts like to use that I haven't bothered with due to time constraints, such as organization and naming conventions of actions / macros, and colouring actions etc. Forgive me!
  • I have only tested these on my own machine, but I've made efforts to make them flexible to hopefully work for others.

Please do adjust and improve these macros if you can do better. If you run into problems I can try to help, but troubleshooting will likely be a real challenge, so fingers crossed that it works for you on first try.

I bragged about these macros on Twitter, and a friendly Keyboard Maestro newbie asked me to share, so I decided to throw together a very rough, unedited walkthrough of how to set up and use the macros. (Apologies for the extra rambling, I'm not good at this but wanted to get the info out there without procrastinating too much).

(You can probably skip the video if you're already good at KM).

Thanks to those who helped me figure out some command line challenges in this thread: Execute Shell Script: Solution for Truncated Results

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Also, if anyone would like another video walking through the macros themselves in more detail and explaining what each action does (which may help with troubleshooting, let me know)

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Hey Joel,

Thanks for publishing the vid.

I will probably try Maestral now, and I very likely would never have bothered with it otherwise.

-Chris

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That comment already makes the effort worth it! You contribute so much to this community, glad to be able to do the same for once :slight_smile:

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Just created another simple macro for browsing selected file(s)/folder(s) on Dropbox.com.
Remember to Export as Finder Quick Action from File > Export (in Keyboard Maestro). Hope this is useful for someone!
Selected Dropbox File: Browse on DB.com.kmmacros (4.4 KB)

Macro notes:

  • Assumes file/folder is in Dropbox folder and already sync'd
  • Assumes your top-level Dropbox folder contains the name "Dropbox"
  • Supports multiple files/folders, opening each one in separate tab

If there is interest, I can work on improving the other macros. Thanks for reading!
Screen Recording 2022-01-31 at 12.50.12 PM

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Just wanted to update the thread based on more long-term Maestral usage. First off, I'm grateful to the dev for all the work they've put into this, especially presumably without any funding or monetary motive.

I still think that Maestral is a good choice for basic to moderate usage. The CLI also makes it a dream come true for setting up automations that are otherwise very clunky to do with Dropbox.

For my complex usage case, it hasn't been ideal. We run our whole business off Dropbox, and have literally millions of files of varying sizes.

I have been plagued with sync conflicts, sometimes causing duplication of hundreds of files and have experienced some data loss, and have been meaning to migrate back to the first party client for a while now.

During the 7 or 8 Maestral updates that have been released in recent months, I've had to keep rolling back the version because of various problems with the menu bar app freezing, or the sync engine being stuck in a paused state. I'm finally moving away from it today because it's been paused for 24h now and I haven't been able to get it syncing again, even trying to roll back to several older releases, reindexing, rebooting etc.

While I loved the idea of a lightweight client, I've had to spend a lot more time thinking / worrying about my Dropbox files as a result of moving to Maestral.

Something else that doesn't help is that I sync large Final Cut projects to Dropbox. Relying on Dropbox for this isn't a idea to begin with, and while it has worked good enough for me in the past, Maestral really struggles. I think this is largely because of the symlinks that is part of a Final Cut library file structure. I think I read that Dropbox's API doesn't include support for certain edge cases like symlinks, so a third-party client like Maestral might not be able to solve a problem like this.

So… since I'm pretty deeply locked into Dropbox for now, I'm humbly crawling back to their first-party client. Since I last used it, they FINALLY launched native Apple Silicon support. So while I'm sure it continues to be a hog, I'm expecting that I can go back to not having to think so much about whether my files are syncing properly.

It turns out that reliably sync a bloated DB account like ours, is a complex task best left to the first-party client, even though I no longer trust their business practices and technical implementation the way I used to when they were a younger company.

Now I just have to try and find a way to replace the CLI automation several important KM macros rely on, to something that works with the first-party client. (Last resort, I'll go back to automation things through finder with KM actions like "Found Image" to check if a file has finished syncing or not.)

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I’ve also been having some sync problems with Maestral over the past few weeks. Judging from GitHub talk, it may be a problem with the API rather than the app.

For my purposes, it’s worth persevering with. I use Maestral/Dropbox for file sharing (dozens of documents rather than millions!), and for syncing e.g. my KM library. The automation options with Maestral CLI are great.

I keep my work documents in iCloud and everything is backed up with Arq so, although Maestral still has a slightly experimental feel to it, it works for me.

Having said all of that, I have had probably 10x more problems with iCloud sync than Maestral. At least when Maestral messes up it generally tells you about it.

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Thanks for showing Maestral, i use it only for filesharing over command line (only a few hundreds in the next year), works great. The Video helps @Joel_Rendall thank you very much for it.