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?)


16 Answers 16


For Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.10

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)

EDIT: grive is now officially dead, but grive2 is a fork of the original version with some improvements.


This answer contains an answer for all current Ubuntu versions, starting with recent versions at the top.

Ubuntu 17.10 and later (GNOME Online Accounts)

Open System Settings and select Online Accounts -> under the Add an account heading select Google and authenticate with your Google password.

enter image description here

Make sure the "Files" permission is granted:

enter image description here

Now your Google Drive will appear in the Files application (nautilus), like this:

enter image description here

Access Google Drive files offline

Google Drive allows you to access some files offline, but on desktop this feature only works on Google Chrome. If you have the browser, install the Google Docs Offline extension offered by google.com. Return to Google Drive and navigate to gear icon -> Settings -> Offline, and enable Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files while offline.

Ubuntu 14.04 and later (for all desktop environments)

Open Drive is a Google Drive client for desktops written in Electron. It's fast, secure and easy to use.


  • Automatic synchronization between files
  • Automatically updates modified files.
  • Gives notifications.
  • Runs in the system tray.
  • No need to spend money.

To install Open Drive in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu open the terminal and type:

sudo snap install odrive-unofficial

Ubuntu 16.10 - 17.04 (GNOME Online Accounts)

GNOME 3.18 and newer (in Ubuntu 16.10 and later) has native desktop integration that will let you easily browse, manage, open, upload, and download your files. Just add your Google account in GNOME's online accounts application to get started.

To enable Google drive desktop integration in Ubuntu 16.10-17.04 follow these steps:

  1. Install GNOME System Settings and GNOME Online Accounts.

     sudo apt install gnome-control-center gnome-online-accounts
  2. Launch GNOME Online Accounts.

     gnome-control-center online-accounts   

    Make sure you close Unity Control Center first. If you have Unity Control Center open and you call gnome-control-center online-accounts, then it opens the Unity Control Center window instead of the GNOME one.

  3. In the new Online Accounts window that opens click the Add an online account button, then in the Add Account window click the Google icon to add your Google account and authenticate with your Google password. Make sure Files is enabled by being toggled to the ON position.

You should now be able to access your Google Drive files from the Files (nautilus) app.

The same steps also work in Ubuntu 16.04 if it has GNOME 3.18 or newer installed. The current version of nautilus in Ubuntu 16.04 is nautilus 3.18.4.is.3.14.3-0ubuntu5.

  • 18
    It's worth mentioning that grive isn't by Google.
    – user25656
    Jul 15, 2013 at 16:58
  • 4
    GRIVE project is currently suspended after API updates from goole have caused it to stop working. See link below: thefanclub.co.za/how-to/…
    – Mitty
    May 21, 2015 at 8:58
  • 1
    It does not download the Googledocs documents :(
    – raacer
    Dec 7, 2015 at 13:38
  • 2
    If you have already installed grive, use sudo apt-get purge grive first to clear out the old version.
    – iheggie
    Feb 17, 2016 at 14:05
  • 3
    Make sure you close Unity Control Center first. If you have Unity Control Centre open and you call gnome-control-center online-accounts, then it raises the Unity Control Center Window instead of the Gnome one. Nov 8, 2016 at 22:48

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 [email protected], 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.

  • OK, gotcha, but then give him the instructions to build grive from git then, man! (upvote given in anticipation of compliance :P)
    – ish
    Jul 8, 2012 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.
    – nanofarad
    Jul 8, 2012 at 19:35
  • 2
    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. :( Oct 11, 2012 at 19:19
  • 4
    It doesn't seem to work on 12.04 right now...
    – nanofarad
    Oct 11, 2012 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, 2015 at 12:56

Two solutions: Insync, or google-docs-fs.


OMG! Ubuntu! posted an article about Google Drive and Ubuntu in 2012 about Insync.

  • 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

Update: 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 OMG! Ubuntu!.

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 [email protected]
  • Input your password

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

  • 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, 2012 at 8:39
  • 1
    Not yet, but their working on it. See insynchq.com
    – OrangeTux
    Aug 22, 2012 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 Oct 8, 2012 at 19:15
  • insync works just fine. downloaded installer and started app. nice ty.
    – zulu34sx
    Mar 20, 2013 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, 2013 at 19:33

Grive Tools will allow for easy desktop install of Grive and setup of Google Drive on Ubuntu 12.04 or later. NOTE: This project is no longer supported see UPDATE: July 2015

Grive Tools Screenshot

To install Grive Tools from The Fan Club PPA on Ubuntu 12.10 and 15.04:

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

For 15.10 and later you can install grive-tools package manually:

wget https://launchpad.net/~thefanclub/+archive/ubuntu/grive-tools/+files/grive-tools_1.15_all.deb
sudo gdebi grive-tools_1.15_all.deb

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 : https://www.thefanclub.co.za/how-to/ubuntu-google-drive-client-grive-and-grive-tools

UPDATE: July 2015

This project has been replaced by overGrive a complete Google Drive desktop client solution for Linux. See : https://www.thefanclub.co.za/overgrive

  • Worked for me, just now. Can't be that out of date.
    – Grizly
    Oct 22, 2014 at 6:32
  • 3
    GRIVE project is currently suspended after API updates from goole have caused it to stop working. See link below: thefanclub.co.za/how-to/…
    – Mitty
    May 21, 2015 at 8:59

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):


  • Best option. Much better then Grive which doesn't sync.
    – ttt
    Apr 30, 2017 at 12:22
  • I use this on my laptop (16.04 Mate) -- works great, easy to set up, and with the PPA it gets maintenance. In general use, it's just like having the Dropbox app -- just puts a volume into my file browsing (I shortcut it on my desktop next to my Dropbox).
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 21, 2017 at 12:27

Insync repository is available for Ubuntu now.

Following are 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/[email protected] | sudo apt-key add -
    sudo apt-get update
  3. Install Insync

    sudo apt-get install insync-beta-ubuntu

Source: insynchq.com


You can use drive

drive is an unofficial Google Drive client originally developed by Burcu Dogan while working on the Google Drive team. It has more features than Grive2 and fewer bugs.

drive does intentionally not support background two-way syncing, but the drive pull and drive push commands work recursively by default, equivalent to "one-way syncing on demand".

Installation for Ubuntu, according to the documentation:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:twodopeshaggy/drive
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install drive

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 overGrive (formerly called "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.

  • 1
    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, 2014 at 4:04
  • 1
    You can mention, that SyncDrive is not opensourced. At least there is no source code for SyncDrive anywhere.
    – kv1dr
    Mar 19, 2014 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!


Updated on September-20-2015

Ubuntu 12.04 is NOT officially supported because of dependency issues but THIS PROJECT IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED DUE TO GOOGLE DRIVE API CHANGES .So here is installation of "over grive" a new Google Drive client.

Step 1: Download the latest version of overGrive DEB here.

Step 2: Launch OneGrive from launcher

Step 3: A window will appear ,click on Connect account then a browser window will open for you to sign in to your Google account.

Step 4: At the end you will get a code ,copy that code and paste it in the Onedrive window at Account entry box and click validate

Step 5: After setting your preferences (like location etc...) click Start Sync

For Reference here


For those looking for a command-line-only solution, the best I've found is rclone. It works with a variety of cloud-based storage solutions, and is fairly easy to script with. Examples below.

Incrementally backup "/path/to/local folder 1" to "/someremotefolder/folder 1" on Google Drive. Additional commands can be added to backup additional folders.

rclone sync "/path/to/local folder 1" "drive:/someremotefolder/folder 1" -v

Restore the remote copy, incrementally overwriting the local copy.

rclone sync "drive:/someremotefolder/folder 1" "/path/to/local folder 1"

You can also transfer files between different remote folders and cloud storage solutions using the appropriate syntax for those media. The online documentation and man page are pretty easy to follow. Don't forget to do the initial setup steps (per the documentation), after installing rclone.

  • rclone is great, +1
    – Firebug
    Aug 19, 2019 at 18:48
  • This the most lightweight, simple yet powerful option to me. And no Google funny stuff in the background.
    – alchemy
    Apr 19, 2020 at 2:05

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


You can use gdrive, an open source cross-platform command line tool for Google Drive.

Note that this is not the same as drive, which is mentioned in another answer. It's quite similar though: also written in Go, and a comparable feature set, but different command line parameters.

To install and use:

  1. Download the binary. Choose the one that fits your architecture, for example gdrive-linux-x64.

  2. Copy it to your path.

    sudo cp gdrive-linux-x64 /usr/local/bin/gdrive;
    sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/gdrive;
  3. To use it for downloading a file:

    gdrive download 0B7_OwkDsUIgFWXA1B2FPQfV5S8H

    Of course, use your own file ID instead of the 0B7_Ow[…] argument. You find it in the URL when opening your files in the Google Drive web interface, or right-clicking them and clicking "Get sharable link …". In the latter case, remember to turn off link-sharing again if you don't want others to access the file when they get the link.

At first use, the tool will need to obtain access permissions to the Google Drive API. For that, it will show you a link which you have to visit in a browser, and then you will get a verification code to copy&paste back to the tool. The download then starts automatically. There is no progress indicator, but you can observe the progress in a file manager or second terminal.


You can use Zoho Docs that have official client for Linux: Zoho Docs official image zoho client link downloading zoho client zoho client login screen zoho client Ubuntu choose folder zoho official client tray ico zoho official client Ubuntu Linux - set the bandwidth Zoho official client for Ubuntu Linux - select folders for sync

Works as Google Drive for Windows - just sync your files and you can edit them in web-browser. You can read more at official help page about sync client.

  • Zoho seems to be a Collaboration and Enterprise Resource Management system. How is it related to Google Drive? May 7, 2016 at 7:26
  • @DavidFoerster I mean zoho.com/docs - it is like Google Drive. May 8, 2016 at 3:31
  • Ok, thanks for the clarification! In that case I recommend editing this answer to expand it with specific details about how to install and use the software. (See also How do I write a good answer? for general advice about what sorts of answers are considered most valuable on Ask Ubuntu.) Ping me if you want an up-vote on the result. May 8, 2016 at 7:25
  • @DavidFoerster thank you for pointing me out, I added screenshots - looks pretty informative yes? May 9, 2016 at 9:59
  • Looks good but I actually meant installation and usage instructions (typically textual, with supporting images if necessary). Random screenshots without description usually aren't very helpful. May 9, 2016 at 10:32

You can use nice russian service Yandex Disk that have WebDav and free 10 gb and official command-line sync client. Also inside you can create and edit documents from Microsoft Office Online.

yandex disk web, google drive analog

  • 1
    This does not answer the question.
    – Flimm
    Oct 20, 2018 at 8:07

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