Access Your Account from Your Linode

Updated by Tyler Nelson

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If you’ve discovered Box then you know that it can be a great tool for storage, moving and managing files. The following tutorial helps you install and configure a free piece of software that facilitates Box access from your Linode.

Before You Begin

  1. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

  2. This guide will use sudo wherever possible. Complete the sections of our Securing Your Server to create a standard user account, harden SSH access and remove unnecessary network services.

  3. Update your operating system.

This guide requires having a Box account.

Set Box’s Mount Point

The following step will create an empty directory where Box will live and all of your Box files and folders will appear. You can mount it anywhere, but /home/example_user/box will be used for this guide.

  1. Create a mount point:

    mkdir ~/box

    If only your example_user needs access to the Box account contents, making the mount point in that user’s /home directory will be fine. If multiple system users (other than root) need access to the Box account, then the mount point should be placed in a system directory such as /mnt/box. For more info, see the davfs man page.

  2. Add Box to fstab.

    The fstab (or file systems table) file is a system configuration file commonly found at /etc/fstab. It contains the necessary information to automate the process of mounting. Add an entry for your Box account:

    1 /home/example_user/box davfs rw,user,noauto 0 0

Configure WebDAV and User Permissions

  1. Install davfs2, the WebDAV backend which is used to communicate between your Linode and Box account:


    sudo yum install davfs2

    Debian / Ubuntu

    sudo apt-get install davfs2

    When asked if unprivileged users should be allowed to mount WebDAV resources, choose Yes.


    sudo dnf install davfs2
  2. Give your user permission to mount using davfs2. Replace example_user with your user name.

    sudo usermod -aG davfs2 "example_user"
  3. Reboot your distro. This is the best way to be sure there are no user sessions lingering open. If there are, you’ll experience problems mounting the Box drive even after adding your user to the proper group.

    sudo reboot
  4. SSH back into your Linode.

  5. The WebDAV share exported by does not support file locks. Thus, you need to disable file locks in the davfs2 configuration file. Otherwise, you will encounter “Input/output error” while attempting to create a file.

    echo 'use_locks 0' >> ~/.davfs2/davfs2.conf
  6. Add your Box account info to WebDAV’s secrets file, replacing both email with the email address you use to log in to your Box account and password with your Box password.

    echo ' email password' >> ~/.davfs2/secrets

    If your password contains quotation characters (' or "), you’ll need to edit the secrets file directly in a text editor.

  7. Make the secrets file readable to only its owner:

     chmod 600 ~/.davfs2/secrets

Mounting and Unmounting Your Box Drive

  1. To mount and change into its directory:

    mount ~/box
  2. To unmount:

    umount ~/box

Wrapping Up

To confirm that your Box drive is mounted:


The output should look similar to this:

Filesystem              1K-blocks   Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 4122048 886316   3009636  23% /
devtmpfs                   505636      0    505636   0% /dev
tmpfs                      507504      0    507504   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                      507504   1420    506084   1% /run
tmpfs                      507504      0    507504   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs                      507504      0    507504   0% /tmp
tmpfs                      101504      0    101504   0% /run/user/1000  10485756     72  10485684   1% /home/example_user/box

To see the mount options with which your Box drive is mounted:

cat /proc/mounts | grep box

The output should show the following:

1 /home/example_user/box fuse rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime,user_id=1000,group_id=1000,allow_other,max_read=16384 0 0

You’re done! The directory ~/box will now reflect your Box contents! The first time you access the folder it may take a few minutes for the contents to synchronize. After that, folder access is almost immediate.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.