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12.19.2016

Google Drive Linux Clients - Options?

Google has been promising a Linux support for Drive since it first debuted in 2012.  Here we are on the cusp of 2017 and there is no official Drive support in sight.

I have played around with a few options and figured I would share my experiences here to hopefully help someone.

All of my testing has been done of Fedora 23,24 or 25 which is my distro of choice.  I have also dabbled a bit with Ubuntu, but not enough to give a recommendation.

If you do a quick search you will find a few command line options for using Google Drive.  All of which I have found painful to get working.  On top of that the projects seem dead.  Some not being updated in 2+ years.  Plus, command line utilities are not exactly what I was looking for.  These are my least favorite options.  I can not really recommend these to anyone who will depend on them for daily workflow.  If you want to tinker here are a few examples.

https://github.com/odeke-em/drive

https://github.com/prasmussen/gdrive

My favorite CLI option is g sync, which basically gives you rsync functionality to your Google Drive.  This allowed me to sync the way I wanted to, but can be painful to get working and I had issues setting it up with 2 factor authentication.  Once I had it configured, I wrote some scripts to two way sync.  Worked well.

https://github.com/iwonbigbro/gsync


If you are willing to pay a few dollars, there is a decent option called overGrive.  It has both Ubuntu and Fedora packages and installs fairly easily.  This client adds a Google Drive folder and if you put anything in it, it will sync it to your Google Drive, perfect right?  Well not for me.  This works similar to Google's official offering on Windows. Although it does offer two way sync (Drive to Local, Local to Drive) it does so only within a certain Google Drive Folder.  overGrive also has some nifty features like multiple account sync, converting Google Docs to Office formats, Convert files from Office to Google Drive, and also offers support.  It works well and costs a measly $4.99.  Not a bad deal if this is what your looking for.

Here is a link to overGrive:

https://www.thefanclub.co.za/overgrive

The last option, and my personal favorite, costs a bit more.  Insync offers a long list of features including everything overGrive offers and more.  It also converts openoffice documents, Let's you pick your own folder to sync (IMPORTANT), on-demand shared file syncing, Desktop notifications, A feed of your file changes, and much more.  Now the reason I like this is because I can select my local "Documents" folder (/home/savona/Documents) and have it two way Sync with Google Drive.  I don't need to have a "Google Drive" folder somewhere and add files to it.  So for example if I am working on the road (this is not my day job, or I would be broke) I can save something to Google Drive and when I get home I will have a synced copy in my Documents folder.  If I am working on something on my laptop offline, soon as I connect to the internet it will sync my work with Google Drive.  This is the way I would expect a client to operate.  Although I have never used the Windows Client from Google, I speak to many people who wish this functionality was available to them in the Windows world.  Needless to say, many of them are now using Insync.  At $25 a license per Google Account it is a little more expensive than the other options, but for me it was WELL worth it.  The license also comes with unlimited installs, so you can install it on your Desktop, Work Computer, Laptop, etc.

Here is a link to Insync:

https://www.insynchq.com

I am a huge fan of Google Drive, and now I have the functionality I needed.  Hope this helps someone out there.





1 comment:

  1. I use OverGrive in Linux Mint. It is superb! The client is just like Google Drive in Windows. Having to copy files to a specific file doesn't bother me.

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