Regardless of your feelings about Google, many people around the world use Google services every day. As such, it’s important to talk about all the amazing ways you can get easier access to your Google account, particularly for those trying to use Linux in the enterprise. This tutorial shows you how to integrate your Google account into GNOME Shell.
Connecting Your Google Account
In GNOME Shell, integrating your Google account is very simple. First, open your system settings by clicking in the system tray on the top right.
Then, click on “Online Accounts” in your system settings.
Next, click on Google.
Enter your Gmail address (or other Google-powered email address if you have a specific email domain for your company). Then, enter your password.
Google will ask if you want to allow GNOME to do a bunch of things to your Google account. Click “Allow” or don’t if you don’t want to allow that.
From there, you can choose which of the aspects of your Google account you’d like to sync with GNOME. I’ll leave all options here to show you how these things integrate, but you can choose to only have your files, your emails, or your calendar sync, or some combination of those.
Using Your Google Account from GNOME
One of the things that I leave integrated with GNOME on my system regularly is my calendar. It gives me reminders and lets me see my schedule in a given day without much hassle. It appears in the little calendar in your system tray, and in any calendar app that you have set, whether that’s GNOME Calendar or something else like Evolution.
Since GNOME doesn’t come stock with an email client, you may not immediately find this useful. But if you have an email client installed, you’ll find that upon connecting your Google Account to GNOME Shell, it automatically pops up and grabs your whole Inbox.
This is one that isn’t so automatic but can still be helpful if you’re one that likes to use Google Drive cloud storage for your files. To mount your Drive, open your file manager (I’m using Nautilus) and click on your email address in the menu.
You won’t be able to open Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, but if you have any PDFs or Word documents in there, you’ll be able to open them up right away. Plus, you can save files there that aren’t a Drive-readable format (I’ve used it for storing ISO files and system images before) for easy access across your Google-connected devices.
With that, you have a completely integrated and connected Google account and GNOME Shell experience. If you use a Linux machine for work, you’ll definitely know that this can be a lifesaver, as so many workplaces run off of Google services. Plus, those of you who don’t like using a browser for everything will enjoy using native calendar and mail apps in GNOME to manage your schedule and communication.
If you enjoyed this guide, make sure to check out some of our other GNOME Shell content, like keyboard shortcuts you may not know about and how to configure the temperature of night light in GNOME Shell.