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I'd like to install a Google Drive client for Xubuntu (12.04).

I'm getting non-English Google results, and I didn't find grive in the Xubuntu repositories.

Does anyone know of a client that works well for Ubuntu or it's supported derivates (or installation instructions for grive?)

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If you aren't set on Google drive try Media Fire Express. –  Goddard Aug 22 '12 at 10:21
try insynchq.com this works fantastic on Ubuntu. –  user150562 Apr 19 '13 at 11:45
This is either a big coincidence or you are the same user as posting the same question an hour ago. askubuntu.com/q/320308/88802 –  gertvdijk Jul 15 '13 at 16:29
There's not an offical app for Ubuntu. That's why use web version until release for linux :) –  Zulfugar Ismayilzadeh Jul 15 '13 at 17:15
another tool to consider would be google-drive-ocamlfuse gdfuse.forge.ocamlcore.org –  gliptak Sep 29 '13 at 22:10

12 Answers 12

up vote 70 down vote accepted

Apparently grive exists on a ppa - I installed it and it works reasonably well. This is preferable in my opinion over the google-docs-fs solution, since that doesn't put your files permanently on your drive, and grive does. Also, grive isn't a commercial venture like InSync - which is described as "free during beta".

The PPA for grive can be found on webupd8's site using these instructions:

Grive: Open Source Google Drive Client For Linux ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog

One limitation that the current version of grive has is that it doesn't automatically sync your drive directory. But I found this blog post describing a script to fix this and make grive sync whenever a file in the drive directory is changed.

(This answer is originally based on @uri's comment, which has since disappeared)

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This seems to have worked nicely for me. +1 Thanks! –  Doc Oct 11 '12 at 19:25
There's a new article on webupd8 now with updated information about grive. –  Eyal Oct 15 '12 at 13:33
Grive now provides two-way sync...!!! lbreda.com/grive –  charlie Jun 29 '13 at 15:49
To make it automatically sync changes in ~/Drive, use this script after running grive -a first. Add this script to your Startup Applications to autostart. It uses inotifywait to watch for changes in the Drive folder. The link in the answer wouldn't work for me –  minerz029 Aug 28 '13 at 7:54
A more up to date solution, install grive-tools from this ppa launchpad.net/~thefanclub/+archive/grive-tools Or use SyncDrive syncdrive.fr –  kert Mar 27 '14 at 16:29

Unfortunately, Not with an official client. An unofficial driver exists online.

Note that there is no 12.04 PPA. I've contacted the maintainer asking for one to be made.

There is currently no official Linux client supported by Google.

For Linux

Google Drive isn't currently available for the Linux operating system. Linux users can still access Google Drive on the web – drive.google.com New Window or through the Google Drive mobile app.

Refer to http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2375082

There is an unofficial Gdrive FS in a PPA:

  1. execute sudo add-apt-repository ppa:invernizzi/google-docs-fs to add the PPA.

  2. once the command finishes, run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install google-docs-fs to install GdriveFS. Please be patient as this step may take a while.

  3. Create a folder within your home folder called "Drive".

  4. Execute: gmount Drive username@gmail.com, replacing your username as necessary, to mount your Google Drive. This must be run in a terminal. Test show that this application works fine, and is filemanager-independent, being an FS driver.

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OK, gotcha, but then give him the instructions to build grive from git then, man! (upvote given in anticipation of compliance :P) –  izx Jul 8 '12 at 19:28
@izx I couldn't find Git instructions, but did find a modified Google Docs FS that supports Drive. If you can point out the location of the instructions for Git, I would be happy to add them with credit. –  hexafraction Jul 8 '12 at 19:35
Seems that PPA is offline or something. I cut & pasted your command-line comments in to a terminal and I'm getting 404s for that one PPA. :( –  Doc Oct 11 '12 at 19:19
It doesn't seem to work on 12.04 right now... –  hexafraction Oct 11 '12 at 20:58
Installed under 12.04 Precise, work for / google directory, but subdirs are empty. After some copy attempts stops working at all. –  Dee Feb 19 at 12:56

OmgUbuntu posted an article about Google Drive and Ubuntu recently.


Note: as of time of answering, this app is still in beta.

  • Download the Insync.tar.gz

  • Extract to your Home folder

  • Open a new terminal and navigate into the extracted Insync folder using the ‘cd’ > command (e.g. cd insync/)

  • Run: sudo ./insync-installer Follow any on-screen prompts

After installing there are a few other things to note: After installation

  • Insync must be started from the Terminal by running insync
  • The app doesn’t auto-start by default, and there is no in-app way to enable > this


There is a Ubuntu package from the Download page which installs (via software centre by default), configures an update repository, optionally installs file browser integration and starts InSync.


This app mounts your drive so you can thread it like a file system. Instructions come from OmgUbuntu.

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:invernizzi/google-docs-fs
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install google-docs-fs

Once everything that’s needed has been installed log out and back in.

  • Open Nautilus
  • Create a new folder in your Home folder titled ‘Drive’
  • Open a Terminal and run: -
  • gmount Drive username@gmail.com
  • Input your password

Your Google Drive is now mounted in the ‘Drive’ folder

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But i think Insync doesn't provide an option to do a selective sync. It syncs all the files in my Google Drive. –  devav2 Aug 22 '12 at 8:39
Not yet, but their working on it. See insynchq.com –  OrangeTux Aug 22 '12 at 8:41
The second solution doesn't work on 12.04: W: Failed to fetch ppa.launchpad.net/invernizzi/google-docs-fs/ubuntu/dists/… 404 Not Found –  Reinier Post Oct 8 '12 at 19:15
insync works just fine. downloaded installer and started app. nice ty. –  zulu34sx Mar 20 '13 at 13:56
omgubuntu also posted a petition for a google supported drive client which is close to full. I Just signed. –  yuvilio Dec 17 '13 at 19:33

Grive Tools will allow for easy desktop install of Grive and setup of Google Drive on Ubuntu 12.04 or later. Features includes an application indicator and auto sync.

Grive Tools Screenshot

To install Grive Tools from The Fan Club PPA on Ubuntu 12.10 and later:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thefanclub/grive-tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grive-tools

Supported Desktops include Unity, Gnome, KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon and LXDE.

Supported languages : Afrikaans, English, Spanish, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Arabic and Japanese.

For information about the Grive Tools project here : http://www.thefanclub.co.za/how-to/ubuntu-google-drive-client-grive-and-grive-tools

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+1 for the outdated info –  Pierre de LESPINAY Sep 27 '13 at 8:57
Worked for me, just now. Can't be that out of date. –  Grizly Oct 22 '14 at 6:32

grive is the Google Drive client for GNU/Linux. In Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 and 14.10 grive is in the universe repository. To install grive in Ubuntu 13.04 and onward search for grive in the Ubuntu Software Center and install it, or open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install grive

or just use this link: grive Install grive.

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It's worth mentioning that grive isn't by Google. –  user25656 Jul 15 '13 at 16:58

Insync repository is available for Ubuntu now.

Here is the steps to install Insync:

  1. Add the source to /etc/apt/sources.list file (Sample line: deb http://apt.insynchq.com/[DISTRIBUTION] [CODENAME] non-free)

    To add the line directly to sources.list file do the following:

    echo "deb http://apt.insynchq.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/insync.list

  2. Import the key

    wget -O - https://d2t3ff60b2tol4.cloudfront.net/services@insynchq.com.gpg.key \ | sudo apt-key add -

    sudo apt-get update

  3. Install Insync

    sudo apt-get install insync-beta-ubuntu

Source: insynchq.com

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Grive with a GUI = SyncDrive

UPDATE: According to the latest news from the source of this piece of information cited below, "SyncDrive support site is closed and it can't pull files, so it won't work." Therefore, another alternative such as "Grive Tools" mentioned in another answer can be recommended instead.

SyncDrive is front-end cleaned GUI which uses Grive as base. There is no official Google-Drive app for Linux at this moment. SyncDrive is designed by David who is the creator of Ubuntu-based MacOSX-look-alike Pear OS.

SyncDrive can be setup easily and synchronize your files stored on your Google Drive in your ~/SyncDrive folder. It can automatically sync files and also shows storage used/remaining. SyncDrive also has an indicator for easy access.

SyncDrive Screenshot

To install SyncDrive in Ubuntu; open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and enter the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/pear-apps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syncdrive

Source: http://www.noobslab.com/2013/09/syncdrive-google-drive-available-for.html

Note: Files in Google Docs format do not seem to be stored locally.

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Note: this is not an automatic synchronization app, and you have to manually chose "Synchronize now" from the drop-down of the app-indicator. But this's a really useful app for Google Drive synchronizing. –  evergreen Feb 17 '14 at 4:04
You can mention, that SyncDrive is not opensourced. At least there is no source code for SyncDrive anywhere. –  kv1dr Mar 19 '14 at 10:12

The official Google Drive app for linux is not yet released. But there are third party options. InSync is a really good option.

Download the Insync.tar.gz from

Extract to your Home folder
Open a new terminal and navigate into the extracted Insync folder using the ‘cd’ command (e.g. cd insync/)
Run: sudo ./insync-installer
Follow any on-screen prompts

After installing there are a few other things to note:

Insync must be started from the Terminal by running ‘insync’
The app doesn’t auto-start by default, and there is no in-app way to enable this

Source : OMG!UBUNTU!

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This won't answer your question completely, but I'll post this anyway in case it helps you or other people.

Also, this answer is only going to be useful if you want the client for the sake of accessing your Documents offline.

If you use Google Chrome, you can get the Google Drive extensions which works offline once you activate it on your account. (There is an "Offline Docs" tab in your Google Docs' left side bar.)

You can get the extension here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-drive/apdfllckaahabafndbhieahigkjlhalf

I must say, it's rather limited. Documents is the only format that you can view and edit. You will be able to view your Spreadsheets, but not edit them. In my case, those limitations are okay since I mostly only use Documents.

More info: http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1628467

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There is another program, google-drive-ocamlfuse. This is a real Google Drive client (with a directory mounted via fuse, just like the Windows client), also this has automatic syncing and downloads the googgle documents in odf formats.

It seems that a ppa is available too. Here is a how to:


The source is here (the install process might not be smooth as there are dependencies and their dependencies, all having to be installed as ocaml packages, and some dont generate config files):


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There is also a very simple and lightweight indicator which can be used as a sort of GUI for grive:

enter image description here

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Another option is using Insync https://www.insynchq.com/. It's slightly better by providing GUI which isn't supported by Grive. Insync is available for all platform : windows, mac and linux (beta). A minus point for it is that it's not total free with windows and mac version. Linux version is still free in beta but it might cost you in future.

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It costs now, FYI. –  jmervine Oct 11 '13 at 23:49

protected by jokerdino May 11 '13 at 18:10

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