Box Drive Custom Location Deprecated

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  • Official comment
    rmashintchian

    Hi All,

    First of all, I'd like to acknowledge the challenging situation this deprecation puts you in and apologize for all the inconvenience it may cause you.  I'd like to share a bit more background on the change, clarify who it will impact, and highlight a potential workaround.

    Custom Mount Location is no longer supported due to an architectural limitation in Apple's File Provider APIs.  Any cloud provider developing using this technology will also face the same limitation.  Custom Mount Location will be deprecated on the following platforms and configurations:

    • macOS 11.5 if using FPE mode

    • macOS 12 (this only runs in FPE mode)

    Custom Mount Location will continue to work fine if users are using the legacy kernel-based Box Drive configuration on macOS 11.x and 10.15. Custom Mount Location will also continue to be supported on Windows.  

    Potential workaround:

    Symlinks

    One workaround that other customers have used is to create a symlink that points to your Box content.   Symlinks are a macOS capability (not a feature supported in Box Drive) and only certain applications within macOS recognize symlinks. We recommend testing it out in your environment to see if it meets your needs.   We've tested it on a few apps (including Microsoft Excel, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Photoshop (to name a few)) and it works as expected.  

    Here's how you'd configure the symlink:

      • Create a folder ~/CustomBoxLocation (this folder can be named anything you'd like)

      • Create a symlink to that folder: Open Terminal, run ln -s ~/Library/Cloud Storage/Box-Box ~/CustomBoxLocation

      • Direct links to the symlink location

    Alternatively, you can continue to use the legacy kext-based Box Drive configuration on macOS 11.x and 10.15 as long as it is still supported to continue using this feature.  You can do this by running the following command for users:

    For enterprises who want to stay in kernel-based mode on Drive after the 1 month post-GA period and don't prefer to have FPE mode enabled for macOS 11.5 users, please run the following command for select users:

    1. Run the following command in Terminal:

      defaults write com.box.desktop MacMode fuse (Important noteThis command needs to be run as the current user, not as sudo)

    2. Restart Box Drive

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,

    Rena, Box Product Manager

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  • Kenta Hadley

    Box team: Can you please provide information about suggested workaround if the development team is not able to provide a solution for restoring absolute links? How are your other clients who rely on Box Drive to allow for team collaboration — which has become a vital resource in remote work (which is where we all exist currently)?

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  • Jason Hall

    Without the ability to link box is worthless to me. It seems like removing this function would be the end of box as we know it and basically be a deal breaker for professionals like me who need the ability to link and collaborate. 

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  • Aimee Hossler

    Box team: We link a lot of graphics in our InDesign files and can imagine this update will negatively affect our workflow. Is there a plug-in or workaround for the linking issue? Box has been such an integral part of our seamless transition from office to working remotely. I really hope there can be a solution to this update and not resorting to us having to put our files on another platform.

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  • Susan Barnes

    We rely heavily on Box for collaboration, reviewing and approving collateral throughout different teams in our global company. Box use is 90% of my work day. Please don't make us find another platform!!

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  • Kendal Sparks

    Currently, our workflow is centered around Box. It makes collaboration and asset sharing effortless. Without proper file pathing, the workflow would break, necessitating either tedious workarounds or alternative solutions.

    Not supporting absolute file paths for M1 chips would render Box obsolete for all professional creatives.

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  • dherrick

    We are currently testing the Symlink structure and it's in the early stages right now but looks like it will end up working for InDesign and linked assets from the Box platform. We went through a few installation changes and command-line syntax that was initially wrong in the instructions above with a Box engineer. It may solve our process. We are continuing testing in Big Sur 11.6.1 and Monterey 12.0.1. Changing from the old kernel extension service in Apple (kext) to the new FPE mode (File Provider Extension) is the first step.

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  • Lambert Lee

    dherrick, how were newly created files within InDesign and linking structure worked with Symlink workaround? Does the new file need to manually point to the Symlink pathing for a fully absolute pathing even though its on the user folder structure?

    n -s /Users/firstname.lastname/Box-Box /Users/Shared/Cloud/

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  • Lambert Lee

    The Symlink is not Viable work around!  Any newly created file that is depended on an absolute pathing structure that a team of 100 users rely on will break.  There must be a programmatic method within Box to point to a user designated location beforehand.  Please make an update that allows for a "Box Drive Custom Location" within the Box tool and then the default and new paths are optional and known.

     

     

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  • dherrick

    LL - yes, you can still have a custom location, you just have to give the Terminal instruction to point to the correct (new) folder. We create a "StudioSync" folder in the Shared Users folder. That way the absolute/(relative with Symlink) file path is always the same regardless of the user account: Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/StudioSync/
    When the FPE mode is enabled and the command is entered correctly you should see Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/StudioSync/Box/
    1. Logout and Quit Box Drive
    2. Copy/Paste command into Terminal:
    defaults write com.box.desktop MacMode fpe
    3. Make sure a new folder is created named StudioSync in Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/
    4. Copy/Paste command into Terminal:
    sudo ln -s ~/Library/CloudStorage/Box-Box/ /Users/Shared/StudioSync/Box
    5. Start Box app Login.
    6. Make sure you see this to confirm that it worked correctly:
    Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/StudioSync/Box

    InDesign File paths and links are staying intact in our early testing:
    So far, the symlink setup does appear to find links easily. 

      • It does have colons in the file paths rather than forward slashes. 
      • Interesting behavior from inside the app's place/relink window in that it has a "date added" column rather than "date modified" that seems connected to when you logged on or the folder was cached. 
      • It does reflect updated links properly.
      • Finder windows in Box Drive don't retain Apple color tags (they disappear after a moment, whether working offline or online)
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  • stephane chatonsky

    @dherrick, the fact that Finder windows does not support apple color tags (I notice they disappear after a couple of seconds) is very frustrating. Have you found a way to solve this? Have you talked to Box.com about it? Do they plan to correct the issue/bug?  Thanks

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