Open-source Dropbox client that serves as a lightweight alternative to the official app and comes with an optional command-line tool for power users
The official Dropbox app isn’t liked by all. Many feel that it is too bloated, offering unnecessary functionality in a package that only seems to be getting bigger and bigger.
Maestral is a more lightweight alternative that some users might prefer. It retains the service’s core functionality but drops non-essential features in order to keep the package size and memory usage to a minimum. What’s more, it also comes with a command-line tool.
Sync your files and nothing more
Maestral uses the public Dropbox API, which makes most of the service’s functionality available. However, unlike the official client, it cannot transfer only the parts of a file that have changed, so bandwidth usage will likely be higher.
Also, the app lacks support for Dropbox Paper, Dropbox Teams, and the management of shared folder settings. But if you’re after a simpler client with a smaller footprint, you can likely do without these features.
Works like a charm
If anything, Maestral is even easier to set up than the official Dropbox app. All you need to do is log into your account and provide an authorization token. A new sync directory will be created, and you will be able to choose which items should be synchronized.
Once the initial setup is completed, everything should be pretty straightforward. Just copy files to the Maestral folder to sync them to the cloud, and select which items you would like to have available locally. You can also view the most recent changes that have been made and disable notifications or pause syncing altogether.
If you are using the Basic Dropbox service, you are normally limited to three devices. However, since Maestral isn’t seen as a Dropbox app, you can use it on an unlimited number of devices.
For advanced users, a command-line tool is also available, which allows more advanced functionality, like configuring multiple accounts, comparing file revisions, or restoring a previous version of a file.
While clearly not as advanced as the official app, Maestral is a great alternative for users who want something more lightweight or those who simply don’t like the official client for some other reason.