4 Unofficial Google Drive Clients for Linux

4 Unofficial Google Drive Clients For Linux

Ever since Google Drive’s inception, Linux users seem to have gotten the short end of the stick. For years now, Google has been promising an official Google Drive for Linux. In spite of this promise, one has yet to be released.

Since there is no official Google Drive for Linux, the community has taken it upon themselves to create Drive clients of their own. Here are four of the best ones available.

Note: the instructions to install each one of these programs are found on the page in which you downloaded them from.

4-unofficial-google-drive-clients-Insync

When it comes to using Google Drive on Linux, Insync is without a doubt the best you can get (outside of Google releasing an official client). This program works very similar to Dropbox does. It allows you to preserve your existing file system, right click on files inside your file manager to share them and many other cool features.

The only potential downside to Insync is the fact that there’s a subscription fee involved (approx. $20 per year and above). Some people may not be fans of paying that much for software, especially when Google Drive is free. Still, if you want a full-featured Google Drive experience, look no further.

4-unofficial-google-drive-clients-rclone

Meet Rclone. It’s a terminal-based cloud storage syncing system. There’s one key difference that this program has going for it, one that sets it apart from the other command-line based Google Drive clients out there for Linux. It’s built upon a familiar tool: Rsync.

What does this mean? It means that you’ll be able to sync your entire Drive account right to your file system without any manual pushing or pulling or anything like that. It’s really great. Best of all, it supports more than just Google Drive.

With this, you’ll be able to access not only Drive, but Dropbox, Amazon S3, Openstack Swift, Rackspace and more! If you’re looking for a sync-style Google Drive client, you really should try out Rclone.

4-unofficial-google-drive-clients-grive

Grive is a command-line Google Drive client. It’s very simple. There’s not a whole lot to say about this program in the way of features. When you run it, it’ll download your entire Google Drive contents to a folder. There is no automatic syncing, but very close to it.

It’s not just a downloader though. With Grive you’ll be able to push new files directly to your Drive account. This is the perfect kind of Drive client for those who just want to upload and download files and don’t really care about constant syncing.

4-unofficial-google-drive-clients-drive

Drive is a terminal push/pull style Google Drive client. It’s not designed to keep all your Drive files consistent between the cloud and your many computers. It’s a simple tool created for those who just want to pull down or push up the occasional file for storage purposes.

To be frank, this program is just not as great as Grive. That being said, if you’re not happy with that, consider checking out Drive. It’s a pretty solid choice.

Google Drive is a really great service. Not only do you get file storage, but you get a cool built-in office suite too. Without overstating it, it’s safe to say that there is a whole lot to love about the service.

It’s a real shame that Google is dragging their feet like this. Still, it’s not all bad. It’s nice that people in the Linux community have taken this opportunity into their own hands to fill this void.

What’s your favorite unofficial Google Drive client for Linux?

33 comments

  1. As a keen Insync user – the standard home use version, that works with one Google account has a one-off fee of $20 dollars. The subscription rates are only for multiple accounts.

  2. It’s really shitty of google not to have bothered to make a client for Linux, especially if you consider how much they have benefited from linux and how android borrows so much from linux. SHAME!

  3. There is also google-drive-ocamlfuse. It enables you to mount Drive as a filesystem and read and write directly with Google Drive.

    Also, Grive is now obsolete and no longer works (used an old Drive api). The project has been forked as Grive2. Though, if it doesn’t do automatic sync, I don’t see its advantage over rclone which is excellent.

      • OverGrive is what I was looking for. Thanks. It’s not free, but the $4.99 fee is OK i think.

      • Just to note now, overgrive has a few bugs in it, and keeps trying to synchronise files that I deleted years ago, and no support exists for it (their help button just redirects to google drive).

        A bit frustrating

    • Does Rclone really offer continuous/automatic syncing? I tried it out but couldn’t set up continuous syncing. So if, for example, I update a file on my Google Drive, the changes are not pushed to my n*x server unless I manually run the command “rclone sync there here” to update it.

  4. The major problem I’ve seen with *any* Google Drive sync utilities (and I think it’s probably the case on MSWin as well) is none of them can sync Google Docs. I have some Google Docs I use for fiction (makes it easy to do my writing from whatever computer/tablet I’m using at the moment), but I have to periodically export the documents to an ODT file manually in order to keep backup copies. Would prefer to have a script I could have set in a cron job to do a daily snapshot. Really don’t want to trust my space epic to cloud-only storage, as convenient as it may be.

    • The Windows version of Google Drive (client) syncs all files perfectly (including Google Docs files)

      • I finally got a chance to try out the “local” sync of Google Docs through Google Drive on a MSWin machine (had a machine I’m reformatting soon, so I figured I’d try some things out before I wipe it). It actually doesn’t sync the file locally, all it does is create a *link* to the online file (at least that’s what it appears to be doing). I looked at a 24-page Google Doc I have been working on (some Railgun fan-fic, yay!) and it shows up as a *1K* file. There’s absolutely no way 24 pages of text fit in 1K, and a copy of it exported to ODT is 200K. So no, I don’t think it’s syncing anything locally.

        • Hi Jelabarre,
          this is actually correct, it is how GoogleDrive works. Only if you put a file in a non-google format, as a pdf or a .docx, without conversion, that you have the file with a real “weigth” in K or Mbytes. Every documents in google format is just a link locally on your computer.
          Hope this helps.

  5. My new cell phone uses a Linux Operating System. When will Google provide a native Linux interface for Drive? Best we can get today is some user-space tools and a couple of syncing tools which do a poor job of making Drive files readily available on Linux Cell Phone devices. It should not be difficult for the software engineers at Google to make a Linux compatible Drive interface. (1) make a binary communications file to reside at /dev/drive, (2) make a GUI tool which handles configuration of Drive and gets the user-ID authentication from Google servers, (3) Build the fstab structure to mount Google Drive on the Linux operating system using functions from “1” and “2”. This would make Google Drive look like any other mounted file system on the Linux OS and it would have the security and robustness of any other Linux based file system.

    • I like GoSync but I have some questions.
      How do I get to sync with Google Drive to a location on my linux host? I am running Ubuntu 14.14
      How can I sync Google Docs ? It appears Google Docs, Sheets do not sync over. I’ve tried multiple sync clients.

      • I see that you are using an old version of GoSync because the latest version doesn’t sync the documents in gosync-drive. The latest version is 0.4.0. There are lot of new features added in this version.

        I am sorry but this version also has the limitation that it _cannot_ download the Google docs. Google docs are special files. I am working on it and I will try to get it working with version 0.5. I am sorry for not supporting this in current versions.

        • How do I upgrade in Ubuntu from 0.3 version of Gosync to 0.4 ?
          I am not very familiar with upgrading within Ubuntu? I am mostly a RedHat Linux guy. (yum upgade ..)
          But I have a Ubuntu server that need to sync Google Drive data/folders to a NAS mounted on Linux.
          Also ..Can you sync data in a “Shared with Me” folder in Google Drive?

          Thank you so much
          Patrick

  6. Mega drive has a fully featured linux application (similar to Google drive and dropbox) plus 50 Gb free cloud storage.

  7. But where is the true “cloud storage” interface for Google Drive on my Linux system? I don’t want to sync local files with the same thing on gdrive. I don’t want to have a local copy of all my on-line google drive files. What I want is to “mount” google drive as a network drive on either /mnt or /media, or possibly some other mount point. And…I want this to be persistent so it automatically launches each time I boot my Linux system with a network connection available.

    Yes, I have tried the new Gnome remote file system and cannot get it to work. It refuses to properly handle Google’s proprietary security handshake.

  8. I use google-drive-ocamlfuse, it generally works pretty well. I have problems with rsync, but I think that’s because of how Google Drive manages timestamps. I’ve yet to find another (free) utility that allows mounting of Drive under Linux.

  9. I received an unlimited Google account from my alumni association (let’s see if they really meant it!). I have a 425 thousand file, 483gB backup archive currently mirrored offsite on CrashPlan – why not put it on this Google Drive!?!?

    I’m running Ubuntu 14.04 with a slow cable connection

    Insync gave me a free account to my gmail address, but not to the alumni email address (grrr…). I set it up anyway with the free 15-day trial on that unlimited account. After 13 or so of those 15 days, Insync managed to get just over 200 gB uploaded – or about 0.64 gB per hour on average. The interface client often would not open at times and there was a noticeable slowdown for everything on my PC (which is about 7 years old, HP m9510f)

    It took about 15 minutes to install rclone, authenticate it with that Google account and figure out the command line needed ( rclone copy /media/4tbBU/ drive: ). So far, even with the start-up indexing delay, it has transferred over 23 gB in 22.5 hours – about 286 kB/s our just over 1 Gb per hour. Not bad for my slow connection and Google’s throttling!

    Sure, it isn’t “live” two-way syncing, but for my purposes, it is much faster. But most important, except for an extra terminal window left active, I can’t tell it is even running – PC running full speed – almost no CPU load, very little RAM – very happy with rclone as a backup client!! I haven’t tried downloading yet, but it appears to allow conversion to Word or OfficeLibre on the fly during download – see: http://rclone.org/drive/

    Thanks for the article!!

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