I love the online accounts integration feature of Unity...that is, I would if there were apps to support the feature. Thunderbird and Gwibber do, but they won't run silently or in the background, I'd settle for just running minimized at startup.

What I am looking for is a way bidirectionally sync my documents folder to google docs silently and in the background, as well as a way to get the existing services (tbird, gwibber) to run silently (which is what I think this feature is aiming at eventually). I have tried both google-docs-fs and gdocsfs, but neither offer file conversion (and I can't get either to work anyway). SuperFlexible File Manager offers this feature, but does not offer a way to start in the background or minimized and I can't get devilspie to run in unity, plus SFFM is proprietary. Running it at start up to keep everything synced in real time puts the application "in my face" as soon as I start the PC. Conduit is great for Picasa and Facebook sync, but it isn't bidirectional with gdocs (it will only push to gdocs, not download). It does at least run in the background.

Does anyone know how to force SFFM to run minimized or in the background? I would love to get Thunderbird and Gwibber running silently or in the background as well. Can anyone help me get devilspie to work (its installed but does nothing when I double click, trying to start from terminal closes the terminal but never opens the program, is devil not intended for use on unity or am I missing something?). Gdocsfs gives an error message that the local mount point does not exist [robbie/documents/something]? Are their any other options I can use?

2 Answers 2


My solution was to run Super Flexible Filemanager at startup, then just minimize the thing. It offers two way sync with gdocs and file conversion to gdocs format. Since I have to minimize the thing at startup so it isn't very pretty or silent but at least it gets the job done and gets around the new pricing policy of GDrive (which isn't available to me yet). Converted docs still don't count toward the 5gb limit. SFFM allows me to select which folders I want synced, similar to UbuntuOne and I am going to email the devs to see if Google is going to maintain that 3rd party functionality and to let them know Linux users are using their product and looking for background sync functionality.

Then I use Conduit (which will run in the background) to sync to Picasa and convert images so a smaller file size. Hopefully, Conduit devs are working on two-way gdocs sync and are upping the size limit to fit new larger Picasa/G+ file sizes (adding G+ would be good too). The privacy concerns of gdocs don't bother me because I know to upload anything sensitive to UbuntuOne or SpiderOak (or better yet just stored on an encrypted USB drive that stays on my car key ring). Besides, I like some of the features that can only be achieved by letting Google's servers "read" my stuff; facial reconition, 'tagging' and the ability to search a document.


It sounds like they will be rolling this out very soon:

ZDNet: How Google Drive will compare to Dropbox

UPDATE: Google Drive has been release but does not offer a Linux client.

  • True, hopefully google will offer a Linux app, or at least someone more skilled than me can hack one together with the API. I was just hoping someone had a hack or work around in the meantime. Apr 23, 2012 at 5:17

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