Are you using Google Drive to store your files but don’t know how to sync it with Ubuntu?
Google does not provide a non-browser file client for Linux users. But there are some free and inexpensive tools out there to help you. Below are three methods you can follow.
ODrive (open disk)
ODrive (open the drive)
ODrive is an open source GUI client for syncing or backing up Ubuntu to your Google Drive.
No need to open a web browser or use terminal tools. It’s simple, as there are no options, settings or integrations to understand and master.
Installation and configuration
- To install, go to ODrive and click Install.
- You will now see a dialog asking if you want to install the Flatpack app. Select “OK”.
- You will now see that the software repository is included in the flat application. Click Install Next.
- In the next step, you will be asked to confirm your account using the Sudo password (your root account password). Click Submit.
- After the download and installation is complete, press the superkey or Windows key on your keyboard.
- Enter ODrive in the search box.
- Click Open Disc. You will see ODrive is running and needs to be configured.
- Now you need to set up and authenticate your Google Drive. Click Next to start the ODrive installation.
- Connect your account and select the folder where you want to store your Google Drive data.
- After completing ODrive settings, you will need to sign in to your Google Drive account.
- ODrive will ask you if it can access your Google account. You want to allow it.
- You will now see that your account has been added to your Drive and also created a directory on your Linux machine.
- Click the sync button to sync your Google Drive data to your Linux computer.
- Check your home folder to make sure the sync was done correctly. You will see that there is a folder in your file manager that says Google Drive. Double click your Google Drive folder to view your files inside.
However, this simplicity has a downside. Since this is a basic option, you cannot use selective sync and you cannot exclude certain files from downloading.
You can only sync ALL files in Google Drive to your computer. You have an all or nothing option – sync all or none of them. If you need the ability to customize which files you sync, this won’t be the best solution for you.
Here’s an option to customize which files to sync with your Google Drive. The steps below describe how to use Insync
- receive desktop notifications.
- use it with multiple accounts.
- sync shared files.
The product is paid but has a 15-day trial period. Pricing Options (One Time Payments):
- Prime: $ 39.99 per Google Account.
- Teams: $ 49.99 per Google account (includes Prime sync plus shared drives).
Follow these steps to use Insync to sync your Ubuntu installation with Google Drive.
- Start by installing Insync on your computer by choosing the DEB installer. Be sure to turn off all Google Drive clients before starting the program.
- You are now ready to install the program. During the installation process, you will be prompted to configure the Insync folder.
- This Insync folder will contain your Google Drive files. Open the program. The first thing you’ll see is your Google Drive directory.
Insync does not automatically sync files during installation. You will be prompted for specific files that you want to sync.
- To start selectively syncing files, click the selective sync icon at the top right corner of the toolbar.
- The next screen you will see is Selective Sync Mode. This is the screen where you can select the files and folders you want to sync.
- If you want to sync certain files in a folder, not all, you can do that too. By clicking on a folder, you will see the subfolders and files in that folder.
- To sync an entire drive, click Select All.
- Once you have selected the files and folders that you want to sync with Google Drive, click Apply to proceed to the next step.
- At this point, you will see a pop-up window. Up a message asking if you are sure you want to apply the selective sync changes. If you are sure, click “Yes”.
- You will find synced files and folders in your base folder.
Save to a location outside of Insync
Save to a location outside of Insync
You can also save your Google Drive folder to a different location outside of Insync, but only for top-level folders.
Go back to your Google Drive and hover your mouse over the folder you want to sync. Then click the custom location sync icon as shown in the screenshot below.
- Then you will see a menu asking you to choose a location.
- With a folder selected, click Open in the upper right corner of the control panel. Then you will be presented with two options. You can sync it as a subfolder or merge it with another existing folder.
- If you want to sync a file as a subfolder, click the blue button that says: Sync as subfolder. You will then be taken back to your Google Drive. Open the folder where you want to put the synced subfolder.
- A new folder will be created where your synced files are located.
Ubuntu GNOME Embedded Method
Integrated Ubuntu GNOME Style
Another option to sync all your files is Ubuntu GNOME’s built-in method.
Follow the process below to sync Google Drive with Ubuntu. You will add your Google account to the list of GNOME Online accounts.
First, you will need to connect your Google Drive account to the Nautilus file manager. You will then be able to access, add and edit your files.
Install and open GNOME
- You will be able to access your files in Google Drive through the Nautilus file manager. Start by installing the GNOME Control Center and GNOME Online Accounts packages.
- Go to the Unity Control Panel or Command Prompt to open the GNOME Control Center.
- Enter the GNOME Control Center in the command line section. Then click on “Online Accounts”.
- Click to add an account. Then select Google and add your Google account details.
- You will then be prompted to authorize access from GNOME so that you can edit and retrieve files from Google Drive.
Please note that this process does not give you access to your Google Drive if you are not online. However, this is an easy and effective way to sync your Ubuntu in the cloud with your Google Drive.
If you need to use a file offline, you can drag and drop it from your Google Drive to a local folder on your computer.
Even though Google does not have an official client for Linux users on Ubuntu to sync files, as you can see from the three options above, there are easy ways to do the same.