Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

I would like to use the contacts app in Ubuntu to pick up and sync with my Google contacts. This way they will be there on my phone and my other computers. I see no way to do this.

Can anyone help and tell me how to sync the two together and keep them updating each other?

share|improve this question
Are you sure you save the contact in your android device in google? Normaly it saves them by default in the phone. – xangua Nov 21 '13 at 13:04
@AngelSalinasHuerta Mine have always synced back to my Google account (SGS2, N5) – Oli Nov 21 '13 at 13:40
Then you mean your contacts to show up in the Emphaty IM client or Friends app? Your google contacts can only appear in the Gnome Mail Client (evolution) as (sic.) mail contacts. – xangua Nov 21 '13 at 14:14
Not Empathy, not Evolution, not Andoid. I am talking of the Gnome-Contacts program which is installed with Ubuntu. I select it, am given the choice of local or online account. I choose online and find myself with no ability to add the Google address book. The Online Accounts section of System Settings don't offer any option either. I am stuck. If I can get the Google Contacts into the Contacts application then I will have my phone and computer contacts in both places. – markrich Nov 21 '13 at 15:21
I can recommend using Thunderbird Address Book with gContactSync Addon as an alternative (and probably better working) solution. – Sadi Nov 21 '13 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

Well there are two Online Accounts Apps in Ubuntu:

  • Ubuntu Online Accounts. This one is for the Unity Desktop and is pre installed in Ubuntu.

  • Gnome Online Accounts. This one is for the Gnome Shell Desktop and is not pre installed in Ubuntu.

The gnome-contacts App is a Gnome Application and therefore uses the Gnome Online Accounts App. But you use the Ubuntu Online Accounts, which curiously do not link the Address book of the Google Account.

Install the Gnome Online Accounts in Unity

Install Gnome Online Accounts with:

sudo apt-get install gnome-online-accounts

After that you must activate the Gnome Online Accounts for the Unity Desktop [Source]:

Change in the file:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/gnome-online-accounts-panel.desktop

the line from




After that you should see two Online Accounts in System Settings and in Unity Dash. Add your Google account also to the Gnome Online Accounts and you should be able to see your Google Contacts in the gnome-contacts App (perhaps you must change your Address Book in the menu of gnome-contacts with change address-book to the google address-book of you choose local address-book before).

EDIT: Since Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty

Since Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty the gnome-control-center where you open the Online Accounts was replaced by unity-control-center. Therefore trying to open the Gnome Online Accounts in Unity will fail with ** (unity-control-center:13209): WARNING **: Could not find settings panel "online-accounts" (If you lunch gnome-control-center, unity-control-center will be opened instead). It seems not to be possible to open the Gnome Online Accounts in Unity anymore. However you can

  • install gnome-shell
  • log into the Gnome Shell Desktop
  • Adding Account to Gnome Online Accounts
  • Remove gnome-shell again if you want

then the Google Account Contacts will also be available in Unity in gnome-contacts

share|improve this answer
Is this answer up to date? – JohnRos Mar 10 at 8:04
Yes. In Ubuntu 14.04 Ubuntu Online Accounts still not integrate into gnome-contacts, but the control-center has changed, see EDIT: Since Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty. – F.Raab Mar 10 at 16:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.