overGrive: Google Drive desktop client

We explored Grive along with other options to access Google Drive on Linux in an earlier article. However, none of these have a level of experience provided by Dropbox. A new Google Drive client, overGrive, claims to be a complete native solution. Continue reading overGrive: Google Drive desktop client

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)

Ways to access Google Drive on Linux

google_compAs long as Google does not come up with its official native client for Linux, you can access your Google Drive on Linux in any of the following ways:

  1. Grive: Downloads all the files in your Google Drive into the current directory. After you make some changes to the local files, run Grive again and it will upload your changes back to your Google Drive. Does not support symbolic links and Google documents. Still in beta (at the time of writing) and might cause sync issues.
    To install Grive on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo apt-get install grive

    UPDATE: Grive does not work any more due to Google Drive sync API changes.

  2. A fork of Grive, Grive2 is under the works. Capabilities:
    – supports the new Drive REST API
    – partial sync
    – a lot of code refactored
    – fixes for more stability and other things
    – number of system calls for reading files reduced
    To install Grive 2 on Ubuntu, run:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install grive

    To sync Google drive to a directory, navigate to it and run:

    $ grive

    To partially sync a subdirectory, run:

    $ grive -s subdirectory
  3. SyncDrive: Grive front-end developed by one of the Pear OS (now discontinued) developers.
    To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/pear-apps
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install syncdrive
  4. OCaml FUSE filesystem: Manually mount the drive to a local directory.
    To install on Ubuntu:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alessandro-strada/ppa
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install google-drive-ocamlfuse
  5. GDrive scope: Browse and search Google documents from a Unity lens. Ubuntu only. Available in synaptic.
    To install:

    $ sudo apt-get install unity-scope-gdrive

InSync: sync Google Drive

insyncNOTE: InSync free version is 15 days trial only.

InSync is a multi-platform backup and sync client for Google Drive. If you are a heavy user of Google Drive and prefer to store your docs in the cloud InSync is the utility which will synchronize your cloud and local copies. The Linux client is in beta right now but works fine.


  • Multiple accounts
  • Convert Google Docs to Office
  • Symlink, junction and alias
  • Built-in sharing without a browser
  • External & network drives
  • Non-admin Windows install
  • Recent changes feed
  • Desktop notifications
  • Right-click share
  • On-demand shared files syncing
  • Selective sync all folders + files folders you own
  • Name your own folder
  • Revert read-only files
  • Supports Linux, Windows and Mac


The 15-day trial version can be downloaded from InSync website.

Webpage: InSync