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.
Make sure the "Files" permission is granted:
Now your Google Drive will appear in the Files application (nautilus), like this:
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:
Install GNOME System Settings and GNOME Online Accounts.
sudo apt install gnome-control-center gnome-online-accounts
Launch GNOME 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.
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.
The grive package from the Ubuntu Software Center no longer works because Google has discontinued service for Google Documents List API version 3.0, replacing it with a new API. The grive package has been forked by Grive2. The Grive2 fork supports the new Google Drive REST API and it also includes a new feature: partial (directory) sync.
The instructions for installing Grive2 in Ubuntu 14.04-17.04 are as follows:
If you have already installed grive, first clear out the old version using this command:
sudo apt-get purge grive
Install Grive2 in Ubuntu 14.04-17.10
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install grive
Create a new directory in your home directory for syncing files with Google Drive.
mkdir ~/grive # or alternatively folder to backup/sync
Change directories to the new grive folder.
The first time you run Grive2 use the
-a option for requesting an authorization token from Google which is used to get permission to access your Google Drive.
After running the above command, an URL should be displayed in the terminal. Copy this URL and paste it in the address bar of a web browser. At the Google page, you need to grant access to Grive. After clicking Allow access an authentication code will be displayed. Copy this code and paste it back into the terminal where you ran Grive2.