How to Mount Google Drive in Ubuntu

Mount Google Drive On Ubuntu

More people than ever are relying on Google for document writing and storage. It’s especially useful for Linux users who need the seamless compatibility with other platforms. Google’s widespread adoption eliminates any real issues.

Thankfully, Linux developers, specifically the ones working on GNOME, realized just how useful integration with Google Docs can be and built functionality into the desktop environment itself. That integration is going to make this whole process a lot easier, and you’ll have complete access to your Google Drive on Ubuntu in no time. While this guide is tailored to Ubuntu, the process can easily be adapted to any distribution running GNOME.

Install Online Accounts

Everything here is dependent on GNOME’s online accounts feature. It’s probably installed by default, but it can’t hurt to be sure. Install it with Apt.

It’s just a single package, so it won’t take very long.

Connect to Your Google Account

Now, you’ll be able to connect your Google account to GNOME through your settings. Open your app listing and locate Settings to open it.

GNOME Online Accounts

Check out the left side menu and see if “Online Accounts” is present. It should be, following the package install. If not, try logging out and logging back in. Click to open your online account settings. You’ll be presented with a list of available account types to add. Choose Google.

Enter Google Password GNOME

Enter your Google username and password after a new window pops open and asks you to.

Allow GNOME Permissions Google

Next, once you’re alerted to the permissions within your Google account that GNOME is requesting, accept them.

In the last stage of the account setup, GNOME may ask for your keyring password. This is usually the same as your user account password on the system. This password is the one you’ll use to unlock your local password stores in GNOME.

When you’re done, GNOME will drop you back to the settings menu with your new Google account listed at the top.

Enable Drive Access

You’re also going to need to enable file access to your Google account to get access to your Drive, a simply process.

Enable Drive Access In GNOME

Click on your Google account at the top of the Online Accounts tab. That will open a new window with a series of switches. Look for the “Files” switch, and flip it on, then close out that window.

Mount Your Drive

Open Nautilus, your file manager, and look to the left side of the window. Is there a networked storage option that matches your Google account? Great! That’s your Google Drive. Click on it to open it up.

Google Drive Mounted on GNOME

You’ll see all of the folders that you’ve created on your Google Drive along with any individual files. You can open them up and edit them normally with LibreOffice or any other compatible program. You’re also free to add any new files to that drive, and they’ll automatically be uploaded to your Google Drive, to be accessed from anywhere.

You’re officially ready to use your Google Drive in a new and much more convenient way. Treating your Drive files like they’re local eliminates a lot of the potential awkwardness of working through a browser and uploading files. Sure, you still need an Internet connection to access and upload files, but the process is smoother, and it feels more rewarding to use Drive with Linux.

Nick Congleton Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.


  1. “Open your app listing and locate Settings to open it.”
    How, exactly, is this done? I don’t think Mint has an app listing.

  2. @Paul
    I’m running Mint 18. In this distro you can just go to the start menu and type “online” in the search box, which then brings up Online Accounts. Just click on it to start it.

  3. “Open your app listing and locate Settings to open it.”
    Running Ubuntu 16.04 but no idea what this means.

  4. this mounting is super slow and is not usable!
    You need to download the files for every opening of the folder!

  5. I agree with Jingpeng Wu. The mounting takes forever and nothing shows up. I have a lot of files, so I don’t actually want to download all of them. That would be a big waste of time and space. I wish it was possible to only “see” the files, and only the required file would be downloaded once clicked, kind of what happens when you view files in a shared network: the file is not really downloaded to your drive until you copy it. At least that’s what I think. Thanks for the explanation anyway.

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