Monday, April 4, 2016

Google Drive for Linux

I am an admitted Google fanboy, especially of their Google Drive product. Unfortunately, after nearly four years since Google announced a Linux client was coming it is still MIA. Going to the Google Drive download page gives you this message:

A bit ironic that the page says, "Get Drive Everywhere", and then in the fine print states, "Running Linux? Stay tuned - Drive for Linux isn't ready just yet." At this rate who knows if Google will ever release a Linux client for Google Drive.

Since Google doesn't support Linux with their Google Drive app, what options are available?

  • drive: This little command-line utility was originally developed by Burcu Dogan while she was on the Google Drive team. It has since been taken over by Emmanuel Odeke and appears to be well-maintained.
  • google-drive-ocamlfuse: This is an interesting project in that it allows a user to mount Google Drive on Linux as just another filesystem. The author Alessandro Strada maintains a PPA so that it can be installed and maintained with Apt.
  • GoSync: This is an open source Google Drive client for Linux written in Python. It looks like from the v0.4 release that a lot of improvements were made including:
    • Ability to select folders to sync
    • File rename, move, and deletion now supported
  • rclone: Rclone is the Swiss Army knife of cloud storage command-line utilities. It can sync files and directories to and from a number of cloud storage services including:
    • Google Drive
    • Amazon S3
    • Rackspace cloud files
    • Dropbox
    • Google Cloud Storage
    • Amazon Cloud Drive
    • Microsoft OneDrive
    • The local filesystem
    • etc...
  • insync: Touted to be "The most powerful Google Drive client ever built", insync integrates Google Drive with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has an impressive list of features on its website. Yes, it is closed-source and requires you to purchase a license in order to use it. An entry-level consumer license for one Google account runs $25.
  • overGrive: A GUI-based tool that supports a wide array of Linux distributions and desktops including Ubuntu Unity. Like insync, it too is closed-source and requires purchasing a license for $4.99 which is a latte at Starbucks. It does have some minor limitations (no symlink support) but appears to do most everything else you would need. Comes with detailed instructions on how to install on Ubuntu.
There are quite a few intriguing options for getting Google Drive to work on Ubuntu. What are your thoughts on which of these solutions should be the one to go with?

No comments:

Post a Comment