Setting default directories for moving/renaming linked files from two computers to shared folder

Trying to set up JabRef using Dropbox as a central pdf + bib repository for access from two different computers (one Linux, one Windows).

The default directories can be set in different places as follows:

  1. Options > preferences “Main file directory” can be set
  2. Options > preferences bib file location can be used as “primary file directory”.
  3. File > database properties > General file directory.
  4. File > database properties > User-specific file directory

Can these be specified in a way so that Clean > move linked files works on both computers (putting the linked files on a shared dropbox folder)?

Ideally, I would just tick 2. but It seems that 1 or 2 is not sufficient - the tickbox for moving linked files is grayed out unless 3 is filled in and this creates a problem since the file paths are different on the two machines.

Found a similar problem and workaround here (just ignoring the move files checkbo and selecting rename files only):



We think, that is already fixed in our development version and consequently the change will be included in the next release.

We would like to ask you to use a development build from and report back if it works for you.

I fixed a lot of issues regarding renaming and moving files. The problem with not moving files to bib file location should be fixed, too.


Thanks for the response! Would be happy to try the dev version, but could not get the .jar to run (Error: Could not find or load main class org.jabref.JabRefMain) and dont have access to the windows machine right now.


this is probably due to the fact that you have openjkd 8 installed. As we are now switching to new GUI JavaFX you need the addtional package “openjfx” to be installed.
Alternatively, (we recommend it) you need to switch to the latest oracle java 8 sdk/jre

Best regards