GSync: sync Google Drive on Linux

cloud_compAre you a Google Drive user fond of the Linux backup utility rsync? Developer Craig Phillips is working on a utility that closely mimics the rsync lingo – GSync. The tool is written in python and runs from the cmdline like rsync. Craig intends to offer the functional implementation of rsync and as well as the same features, enabled or disabled through a similar interface of cmdline options.

Note that Grive is a similar utility but the problem with the preloading design of Grive is it tends to fail for larger files. GSync on the other hand tries to process directories depth first and sequentially in order to allow synchronisation to occur immediately.


The preferred method of installation is through pip. Run the following commands to install GSync on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
$ sudo easy_install pip
$ sudo pip install gsync

To upgrade:

$ sudo pip install --upgrade gsync


You need to authenticate GSync with Google Drive once. Run

$ gsync --authenticate

If you face any issues with authentication, fetch the latest source as mentioned by David in the comments section.

As mentioned earlier, the options are similar to rsync:

-v : enable verbose output
-q : suppress non-error messages
-c : skip based on checksum, not mod-time & size
-r : recurse into directories
-R : use relative path names
-u : skip files that are newer on the receiver
-d : transfer directories without recursing
-g : preserve group
-o : preserve owner (super-user only)
-p : preserve permissions
-i : output a change-summary for all updates
--progress : show progress during transfer
--debug    : enable debug output

webpage: GSync

Similar software

  • drive (from an ex-Google employee)

7 thoughts on “GSync: sync Google Drive on Linux”

  1. This doesn’t work. It installs and runs fine, but nothing happens when I run “gsync –authenticate”. “–authenticate” isn’t even an option listed when I run “gsync –help”.

      1. The –authenticate option isn’t in the last release. I installed the HEAD from git directly with:

        $ pip install git+
  2. Same issue here, zero, one or two hyphens does the same, i.e. nothing.
    In gsync –help, “authenticate” is nowhere to be found.

    1. There’s another authentication option mentioned in the project’s page:


      Or alternatively, just specify a drive source or destination file like:

      $ gsync drive://somepath/in/your/drive ~/some/local/path

      It will provide a URL for which you can obtain a GUID from Google that you paste into the command line prompt. Once authenticated, it caches the GUID in your ~/.gsync directory. To force authentication, just remove this directory.


      If that too doesn’t work, please raise an issue for the problem.

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