Kernel Panic! Dropbox Infinite Is Getting Too Intimate

Added on by odrive.

There is a better way

Dropbox's announcement of "Project Infinite" garnered a lot of attention, and rightly so. The challenge of accessing theoretically infinite cloud data on a device with finite storage is something we here at odrive have been working on for quite some time. What we have developed (and released) is our vision of the way cloud storage should be.

All up in your kernel

Recently Dropbox posted technical details regarding their approach to this problem, but the feedback received is probably not what they were expecting. Twitter responses have been coming, fast and furious, with questions, comments, and general outrage regarding Dropbox's implementation of Infinite.

The negative reaction stems from Dropbox's use of kernel extensions to provide their version of infinite storage access. In their own words:

Traditionally, Dropbox operated entirely in user space as a program just like any other on your machine. With Dropbox Infinite, we're going deeper: into the kernel - the core of the operating system. With Project Infinite, Dropbox is evolving from a process that passively watches what happens on your local disk to one that actively plays a role in your filesystem.

The implication certainly has people on edge:

Moving from user space into the kernel allows Dropbox to get very cozy with your operating system. Generally you only want the most trusted, secure, stable code running in the kernel, as it has access to pretty much every facet of your system. Dropbox is assuming a lot of responsibility by playing around in there.

Infinite access. Zero kexts.

You can rest easy, though, folks. odrive's implementation keeps everything in user space. We have deliberately taken a lightweight, nonintrusive approach with our desktop universal sync client. No kernel extensions, no drivers, no OS invasion. We provide infinite access to all of your cloud storage without needing to resort to these types of measures.

The best part is that, unlike Dropbox Infinite, odrive is available now, and for free.

Sync differently, my friends.