Tag Archives: google drive

Ugh, It Doesn’t Look Like Google’s New Google Drive Client Is Coming to Linux

google drive ocamlfuse on linux graphic‘Backup and Sync’ is the name of Google’s all-new Google Drive desktop client. The rejigged and refreshed app is being released later this month.

This post, Ugh, It Doesn’t Look Like Google’s New Google Drive Client Is Coming to Linux, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Rclone 1.36 Released With SFTP And Local Symlinks Support, More

cloud storage

Rclone 1.36 was released recently, bringing support for SFTP, local symbolic links support, mount improvements, along with many other new features and bug fixes.
For those not familiar with Rclone, this is a cross-platform command line tool for synchronizing files and folders to multiple cloud storages, which supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Yandex Disk, and more.

It can be used to sync files either from your machine or from one cloud storage to another.
As a reminder, Rclone doesn’t provide real-time file monitoring, and the synchronization is performed on demand (so you must run it manually or using a script, etc.)

For more about Rclone, check out our initial article.

Important changes in Rclone 1.36 include:

  • SFTP remote;
  • re-implement sync routine to work a directory at a time reducing memory usage;
  • logging revamped to be more inline with rsync;
  • implement –backup-dir and –suffix;
  • implement –track-renames;
  • add time-based bandwidth limits;
  • rclone cryptcheck: checks integrity of crypt remotes;
  • allow all config file variables and options to be set from environment variables;
  • add –buffer-size parameter to control buffer size for copy;
  • comply with XDG Base Directory specification (this moves the default location of the config file in a backwards compatible way);
  • MIPS/Linux big and little endian support;
  • local:
    • implement -L, –copy-links flag to allow rclone to follow symlinks;
    • open files in write only mode so rclone can write to an rclone mount;
  • mount:
    • implement proper directory handling (mkdir, rmdir, renaming);
    • make include and exclude filters apply to mount;
    • implement read and write async buffers – control with –buffer-size;
  • crypt:
    • add –crypt-show-mapping to show encrypted file mapping;
    • fix crypt writer getting stuck in a loop (this bug had the potential to cause data corruption when reading data from a network based remote and writing to a crypt on Google Drive).

For a complete changelog, see THIS page.

To use Rclone with a graphical user interface, you may want to check out RcloneBrowser (WebUpd8 provides an Ubuntu PPA for RcloneBrowser so you can easily installing updates).

Download Rclone

(binaries available for Linux: 32bit, 64bit, arm, arm64 and mips big and little endian, Windows :32bit and 64bit, MacOS: 32bit and 64bit, FreeBSD: 32bit, 64bit and arm, and more)

In Linux distributions that support snap packages (Ubuntu and many others), you can install rclone using the following command:

sudo snap install rclone --classic

If you already had Rclone installed using a snap, it should already be up to date (this depends on the snapd version you’re using). Alternatively, you can update it using the following command:

sudo snap refresh rclone --classic

For how to use Rclone, you may want to check out its documentation.

Important: if you use the Rclone snap package, you won’t be able to mount any cloud storage (bug report). When attempting to mount Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., you’ll get an error similar to the following:
Fatal error: failed to mount FUSE fs: fusermount: exec: "fusermount": executable file not found in $PATH
The solution, at least for now, use the Rclone binary downloaded from its website.

To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the Rclone GitHub page.

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RcloneBrowser (Rclone GUI) Lets You Manage Multiple Cloud Storage Services From A Single Desktop App

RcloneBrowser is a Qt5 Rclone graphical user interface, available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

Rclone Browser

In case you’re not familiar with Rclone, this is a command line tool for synchronizing files from or to cloud storage services, which supports Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Openstack Swift / Rackspace cloud files / Memset Memstore, Hubic, Yandex Disk, and Backblaze B2. 
Rclone can synchronize files either directly between these cloud services, or to / from your local filesystem.

For more about Rclone, check out our article: Rclone Synchronizes Files Between Multiple Cloud Storage Services (Command Line)

RcloneBrowser allows browsing and modifying (upload / download / remove, etc.) remote repositories, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, oneDrive and so on, including encrypted ones, using the same configuration file as Rclone, so you don’t have to configure remote services twice.

Besides performing various operations on your cloud files, RcloneBrowser can also mount and unmount your remote cloud storage, and it can stream media files with an external player, such as mpv.

Rclone Browser

Note that Rclone (and thus, RcloneBrowser too) performs the synchronization on demand, without any real-time file monitoring and automatic uploading / downloading of changed files.

RcloneBrowser features:

  • allows to browse and modify any Rclone remote, including encrypted ones;
  • allows to upload, download, create new folders, rename or delete files and folders;
  • uses same configuration file as Rclone, no extra configuration required;
  • supports encrypted .rclone.conf configuration file;
  • simultaneously navigate multiple repositories in separate tabs;
  • lists files hierarchically with file name, size and modify date;
  • all Rclone commands are executed asynchronously, no freezing GUI;
  • file hierarchy is lazily cached in memory for faster traversal of folders;
  • can process multiple upload or download jobs in background;
  • drag & drop support for dragging files from local file browser for uploading;
  • streaming media files for playback in players like mpv or similar;
  • mount and unmount folders on macOS and GNU/Linux;
  • optionally minimizes to tray, with notifications when upload/download finishes.
While RcloneBrowser integrates pretty much all the Rclone features in its user interface, adding a new remote storage service is not supported by it, and the configuration must be performed via command line. However, for most, the configuration is as easy as entering “y” a few times in a terminal.

RcloneBrowser does add easy access to the Rclone configuration – simply click “Config” on the RcloneBrowser “Remotes” tab, and it will launch a new terminal window with the Rclone configuration.

Tip: The RcloneBrowser user interface lets you select a local file or folder when uploading to a cloud storage service, however, it can also copy / move / sync files from one cloud storage to another. To do this, you must enter the exact path to the file from the other remote source, like this:

Rclone Browser

Rclone Browser

Download RcloneBrowser

To make it easier to install, I’ve uploaded RcloneBrowser to the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10.

To add the PPA and install RcloneBrowser in Ubuntu 16.10 or 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x, use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install rclone-browser

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can grab the deb from HERE.

Important: the WebUpd8 package only includes RcloneBrowser, but you’ll also need Rclone for this to work. You can download precompiled Rclone binaries @ GitHub. To use it, simply extract the downloaded binary archive, then from RcloneBrowser Preferences select Rclone binary location.
Arch Linux users can install RcloneBrowser via AUR.
For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac, see the Rclone Browser GitHub page.

Those new to Rclone may also want to check out its documentation.

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Rclone Synchronizes Files Between Multiple Cloud Storage Services (Command Line)

cloud storage

There are command line tools available for synchronizing files from / to cloud storage services, but they usually only support one service. Like Grive2 for Google Drive, the official Yandex.Disk console client, Dropbox Uploader, and so on.

But what about synchronizing files and folders from or to multiple cloud storage services? For such cases, you can use Rclone, a Rsync-like program for cloud storage.

Rclone can synchronize files and directories between Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Openstack Swift / Rackspace cloud files / Memset Memstore, Hubic, Yandex Disk, and Backblaze B2.

The synchronization can be done either directly between these services, or to / from your local filesystem.

The tool is useful for backup purposes, but it can also be used as a solution for cases in which there’s no official sync client available on a certain platform (either GUI, command line, or both, like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive on Linux).
Although, for the latter, it’s important to mention that there’s no real-time file monitoring, and the synchronization only happens on demand (you must run it manually or via a script, etc.).

Rclone features:

  • MD5/SHA1 hashes checked at all times for file integrity;
  • timestamps preserved on files;
  • partial syncs supported on a whole file basis;
  • copy mode to just copy new/changed files;
  • sync (one way) mode to make a directory identical;
  • check mode to check for file hash equality;
  • can sync to and from network, eg two different cloud accounts;
  • is available for Linux, Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Plan 9 and Solaris.

Besides being able to synchronize files and folders, Rclone can list remote objects, display the size of remote objects, create, remove, and delete remote objects, and dedupe (find duplicates and offers to delete all but one or rename them).

There are also options to limit the bandwidth, set the connection timeout, and much more. Check out the Rclone docs for more information.

Rclone seems pretty fast too. As an example, I did a quick test and Rclone was able to upload a 141 MB / 52 items folder to Google Drive in about 23 seconds, while Grive2 took about 64 seconds for the same folder, with a second test being roughly the same. Copying the same folder from Google Drive to Dropbox took about 40 seconds.
This can depend on multiple factors, like the Internet connection fluctuating, server load, and so on, so don’t take my word for it and give it a try.

The Rclone webpage provides extensive documentation for how to use it, including how to authenticate it with each cloud storage service, so I won’t get into details about this here. See rclone.org for more information.

Download Rclone

Download Rclone | The source code can be found on GitHub.

For how to install Rclone, either from source or using the Linux binary, see THIS page.

seen @ Korben

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Limited Time Offer To Get Insync Plus For Free (Unofficial Google Drive Client)

Insync is an unofficial Google Drive client available for Linux, Window and Mac. The application is not free (well, except for the next 51 hours): it costs $25 per Google account (one-time fee), along with plans for 3 Google accounts and business.

Insync Ubuntu

For the next 51 hours, you can get an Insync Plus account (for one Google account) for free. Simply sign up using THIS link with your @gmail.com or @googlemail.com account. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to Google apps users.
After signing up, download, install and login using your Gmail account on the Insync app within the next 24 hours to activate your free Insync Plus account.

Note: for Ubuntu 16.04 and 15.10, download the Insync 14.04 deb. If Insync fails to start for you, there’s a fix/workaround at the end of the article.

Insync features:

  • nested selective sync (allows you to selectively sinc subfolders and files) and ignore list (allows adding rules for files and folders that you don’t want to upload or download);
  • both desktop and command line interfaces (a headless client is also available)
  • symlink, junction and alias support;
  • support for external and network drives;
  • options to convert Google Docs to OpenDocument or Microsoft Office formats (by default it doesn’t convert Google Docs)
  • recent changes feed;
  • integrates with most file managers on Linux (Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Thunar and Dolphin)
  • supports multiple accounts (but using the free promo, you can only use one account with Insync Plus)
  • proxy support, desktop notifications and more

In Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and derivatives, after installing Insync, a repository is automatically added which is used for future Insync updates as well as to install the Insync file manager integration.
After authorizing Insync with your Google account, the application will ask you if you want to install the file manager integration package (Insync tries to detect your desktop environment). 
If this doesn’t show up for you or you want to install the Insync file manager integration for another file manager, you can do this manually. Firstly update the software sources:
sudo apt update

And then install the Insync integration for your file manager:

sudo apt install insync-FILEMANAGER

… replacing “FILEMANAGER” with: caja, dolphin, nautilus, nemo or thunar.

Important: in my test, Insync failed to start in Ubuntu 16.04 . To fix it, I renamed (thanks to the Insync AUR package) /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 to /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.old.  To apply this fix/workaround from the command line, use:

sudo mv /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.old
After running the command above, try running Insync – now it hopefully works.

Tip: you can encrypt your Google Drive files using Cryptomator.

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Use GNOME 3.18 Google Drive Integration Feature In Unity, Xfce And Other Desktop Environments [Ubuntu 16.04]

GNOME 3.18 added the ability to access Google Drive directly from Files (Nautilus). To use this feature, all you have to do is add your Google account to GNOME Online Accounts and enable “Files”:

GNOME 3.18 online accounts
Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus already includes GNOME 3.18 for the most part however, because Unity doesn’t use GNOME Control Center (also known as GNOME System Settings or just Settings) and GNOME Online Accounts and instead, it ships with a fork (unity-control-center), it doesn’t include this feature by default.

Even so, you can use the GNOME 3.18 Google Drive integration in Unity as well as other desktop environments, as long as you use Ubuntu (and derivatives: Xubuntu, etc.) 16.04 Xenial Xerus. This won’t work with Ubuntu versions older than 16.04!

Before proceeding, note that the using this, Google Drive is mounted via GVfs, so any change you make in the Google Drive folder on your computer is reflected in your Google Drive account (and the other way around), but you won’t have access to other features available in the official Google Drive Windows/Mac clients as well as unofficial Linux clients, like options to share files, etc.

For a fully featured unofficial Google Drive client for Linux, see Insync.

Access Google Drive from Unity

1. Install GNOME Control Center (GNOME System Settings):

sudo apt-get install gnome-control-center

2. Open GNOME System Settings and add your Google account to GNOME Online Accounts.
Search for “Settings” in Dash and click it – this should launch GNOME System Settings.
Important: GNOME System Settings (GNOME Control Center) shows up as “Settings” in Dash. “System Settings” is the Unity System Settings.
You can also launch GNOME System Settings via “Run Command” (ALT+F2) or a terminal, by typing:

Or, to directly launch GNOME Online Accounts, you can use:

gnome-control-center online-accounts

Here, add your Google account and make sure “Files” is enabled:

GNOME 3.18 online accounts Ubuntu

That’s it. You should now be able to access your Google Drive files from the Files (Nautilus) app:

Google Drive Nautilus

… as well as other file managers. Nemo works too:

Google Drive Nemo

Access Google Drive from Xfce and other desktop environments

There are a couple of differences between using the GNOME 3.18 Google Drive integration in Unity and in other desktop environments.

Installing GNOME Control Center in Ubuntu with Unity is not a big issue dependency-wise because Unity is built on top of GNOME 3, so there are just a few extra packages that are installed along with GNOME Control Center.

In other desktop environments however, there are more GNOME Control Center dependencies that aren’t installed – and thus they will be installed when installing g-c-c -, and some might not like that. This depends on the desktop environment you’re using but even so, the dependencies installed with GNOME Control Center shouldn’t pollute your menu with unwanted items (other than GNOME Control Center, obviously), like it’s the case when installing multiple desktop environments.

Here are a couple examples:

  • extra packages that are installed along with gnome-control-center in Xubuntu 16.04 (Xfce)
  • extra packages installed with gnome-control-center in Ubuntu MATE 16.04 (MATE desktop)

And the second difference is that GNOME Control Center doesn’t show up in the menu in non-GNOME/Unity desktop environments AND it requires setting XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME to display all its panels. But we’ll get to that below, in the instructions.

That being said, let’s proceed.

1. Install GNOME Control Center (GNOME System Settings):

sudo apt-get install gnome-control-center

2. Launching GNOME Control Center

There are two ways you can launch GNOME Control Center and get it to display all its panels under non-Unity/GNOME desktop environments:
  • using a simple command to launch GNOME Control Center with GNOME as the XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP (a);
  • editing the GNOME Control Center .desktop file, which will make it available in your menu (b).

a) Using a command to launch GNOME Control Center

To launch GNOME Control Center with all the available panels in non-GNOME/Unity desktop environments, you can use the following command:
XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center

b) Editing the GNOME Control Center .desktop file

To get GNOME Control Center to show up in the menu, copy /usr/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications/ (create this folder if it doesn’t exist) and remove “OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;” from the .desktop file.

That’s because the line above sets GNOME Control Center to only show in the menu under GNOME and Unity.

To make it easier, you can use the following commands to perform all the actions described above:
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications/
cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/
sed -i '/^OnlyShowIn/d' ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop

GNOME Control Center should now show up in the menu, as “Settings”:

Next, we need to get GNOME Control Center to display all the available panels. By default, this is how it looks in non-GNOME/Unity desktop environments:

To get GNOME Control Center to display all the available panels, you need to change the line that starts with “Exec=”, and add “env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME” (without the quotes) between “Exec=” and “gnome-control-center”. After changing it, the “Exec” line should look like this:

Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center --overview

You can do this automatically, by using the following command:

sed -i 's/^Exec.*/Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center --overview/' ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop

All the available GNOME Control Center panels should now be displayed, including Online Accounts:

3. Add your Google Account to GNOME Online Accounts and access Google Drive from your file manager.
All you have to do now is launch GNOME Control Center using one of the two methods I wrote about above, and under “Online Accounts”, add your Google account (and make sure “Files” is enabled):

After authorizing Online Accounts to access your Google account, you’ll be able to access your Google Drive files via whatever file manager you’re using – like Thunar if you use Xfce:

instructions based on Giovanni Caligaris’ How to get Google Drive on Xubuntu 16.04 video (thanks Giovanni for the tip!)

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Grive2: Grive Fork With Google Drive REST API And Partial Sync Support [PPA]

Grive was an unofficial, open source command line Linux client for Google Drive. I say “was” because the tool no longer works due to Google changing it’s API recently and Grive not being maintained any more (there are no commits on its GitHub page since May, 2013).
To get Grive up and running again, Vitaliy Filippov forked it and named his fork “Grive2”. The fork supports the new Google Drive REST API and it also includes a new feature: partial (directory) sync, along with bug fixes.

Compared to the original “Grive”, Grive2 comes with the following changes:
  • supports the new Drive REST API
  • added partial sync
  • major code refractoring: a lot of dead code removed, JSON-C is not used any more, API-specific code is split from non-API-specific
  • some stability fixes
  • slightly reduce number of syscalls when reading local files
  • bug fixes

Also, just like the old app, Grive2 does NOT support:

  • continuously waiting for changes in file system or in Google Drive to occur and upload. A sync is only performed when you run Grive, and it calculates checksums for all files every time;
  • symbolic links;
  • Google documents.

Install Grive2 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA

Since there are quite a tools that rely on Grive, the Grive2 binary and package continue to be called “grive”, so installing Grive2 from the main WebUpd8 PPA will overwrite any old Grive versions it may find on the system (just as if it was a newer Grive1 version).
To install Grive2 in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives by using the main WebUpd8 PPA, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grive

If you don’t want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE (for Ubuntu 12.04, you’ll also need yajl2 – get it from HERE) but installing the debs manually means you won’t receive automatic updates.

Arch Linux users can install Grive2 via AUR (it’s actually the old “grive” package, updated with the new Grive2 fork).

For other Linux distributions, see the Grive2 GitHub page.

Using Grive2


1. Grive2 will download / upload new or changed files from the directory you run it. So firstly, let’s create a new folder – we’ll call it “grive” -, in your home directory:
mkdir -p ~/grive

2. Next, navigate using the terminal into the newly created “grive” folder:

cd ~/grive

3. The first time you run Grive2, you must use the “-a” argument to grant it permission to access your Google Drive:
grive -a
After running the command above, an URL should be displayed in the terminal – copy this URL and paste it in a web browser. In the newly loaded page, you’ll be asked to give Grive permission to access your Google Drive and after clicking “Allow access”, an authentication code will be displayed – copy this code and paste it in the terminal where you ran Grive2.

That’s it. Now each time you want to sync Google Drive with your local “grive” folder, navigate to the “grive” folder (step 2) and run “grive” (this time without “-a” since you’ve already authenticated Grive with Google Drive).

Grive2 comes with some advanced features as well. For instance, compared to the original Grive, the new Grive2 fork supports partial sync. To only synchronize one subfolder (a folder from your ~/grive directory) with Google Drive, use:
grive -s SUBFOLDER

(replacing “SUBFOLDER” with the name of the subfolder you want to sync)

To see all the available options, type:

grive --help

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