I take pictures on my Android phone, and I have them synced with Google Photos, which puts them on other devices immediately via the cloud.

How do I enable Google Photos to automatically sync to my Ubuntu laptop hard drive?

  • What is your Ubuntu version and desktop environment? – N0rbert Apr 26 '19 at 19:02
  • @N0rbert I'm on Unity+Plank (budgie hybrid) DE Ubuntu 18.10 but will be 19.04 shortly – Jonathan Apr 27 '19 at 23:45

First, you must check the box to enable Google Photos folder in your Google Drive settings so that your Photos will be visible in Drive.

A standard Ubuntu install has GNOME settings has a built in "Online Accounts" section to easily configure a drive in to show in nautilus File Viewer.

You also have a few options to mimic the behavior of Dropbox clients there's OverGrive and Insync but I prefer to not have the files stored locally and for that I use Ocamlfuse.


The creator made a PPA for it with .deb files for Ubunutu, run the following in a terminal to install the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alessandro-strada/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-drive-ocamlfuse

Then, still in the terminal, run the following to get started:


This will set up the configuration files and folders needed as well as launch your default browser so you can login to your google account.

Next, back in the terminal, you will need to create a directory to mount your google drive in:

mkdir ~/googledrive

And finally to mount the drive so you can see your files, run:

google-drive-ocamlfuse ~/googledrive

It works similarly to nfs in that the files aren't actually copied to your computer so if you want to have them when you aren't connected to the internet, you will need to copy them to a local directory.

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    Does this work with Google Photos (what was asked) or Google Drive? – Organic Marble Apr 26 '19 at 21:48
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    ocamlfuse is a good solution for mounting google-drive but to sync your drive to your local hard drive in the way that dropbox works, you will need to sync the drives using something like opendrive see attached link: linoxide.com/tools/how-use-google-drive-ubuntu-linux – User24601 Apr 27 '19 at 7:11
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    In my tests, it seems like ocamlfuse performs twice as fast in transfers as the built in "Online Accounts" GNOME feature, BUT it also doesn't report any progress to nautilus during mid-file transfer yet – Jonathan Apr 28 '19 at 0:23
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    Thanks for the edit @Jonathan. I completely forgot. – Jarad Downing Apr 30 '19 at 19:41

The above answer will not work. Google stopped syncing Google photo with Google Drive awhile ago. If you want access to Google Drive then the above works great. If you want to mount Google Photo then there does not seem to be a solution. This program is useful for backing up and keeping in sync with Google Photo https://pypi.org/project/gphotos-sync/

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