How to Sync Google Drive on Linux


In the world where our data and documents live in the cloud, accessing them across all devices is non-negotiable – and for Linux users, this often means finding a workaround for syncing Google Drive. Linux, known for its robustness and security, unfortunately, doesn’t come with a native Google Drive client, leaving many to wonder about their options for seamless file access and synchronization.

There are several ways to sync Google Drive with Ubuntu, each offering different features and levels of complexity. Here’s a breakdown:

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using Built-in methods:

GNOME Online Accounts

This is the simplest option, already pre-installed in Ubuntu. Go to Settings > Online Accounts and add your Google account. This lets you access Google Drive files directly from the Files app but offers no offline access.

  • Click on the Show Applications icon at the bottom left corner.
  • Click Settings.
  • Click Online Accounts
  • Click on Google
  • Type your Gmail email address
  • Type your password and click Next
  • Scroll down and click Allow
  • On the next screen, you will see the options you want to use, you can leave them all enabled or select the ones you want. Then you can close all windows and go back to the desktop.
  • Now click on the Files icon from the list on the left-hand side.
  • You will see your email in the list and when you will click on it you will see the My Drive option so click it.
  • You will see files on Google Drive.

You can also view a tutorial video to learn how to synchronize Google Drive on Linux using the built-in method.


PlayOnLinux is a handy tool that enables the installation and usage of Windows applications on the Linux platform. It provides an easy and user-friendly interface to manage and install various Windows programs on Ubuntu without the need for a Windows operating system.

Let’s learn How to Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 20.04 to Run Windows Programs on Linux:

To install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 22.04, open the terminal and run ‘sudo apt update’ followed by ‘sudo apt install playOnlinux’. Ensure a patient waits during the installation process as it may take a couple of minutes to download and install. Once installed, launch PlayOnLinux by typing ‘playonlinux’ in the terminal.

  • Open the Terminal window, type “sudo apt update” and press enter then type your password and press enter again. Let the process complete.
  • Type “sudo apt install playOnlinux” and press enter which will install PlayOnLinux.
  • Once the installation completes click Show Applications and open playOnlinux.
  • Click Install at the top.

Search for Google Drive in the search bar and you will get the option for Google Drive Sync, highlight it, click Install at the bottom right corner, and follow onscreen instructions.

You can also view a tutorial video to learn how to synchronize Google Drive on Linux using the built-in method 2 which is using PlayOnLinux.

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using Third-party tools:

Ultimately, the best way to sync Google Drive with Ubuntu depends on your specific needs and preferences. The built-in methods suffice if you’re looking for a simple solution with online access. For offline access and advanced features, consider third-party tools like Insync, Rclone, or ODrive.

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using InSync

For those who seek a comprehensive Google Drive client for Linux, Insync is a premium choice. It provides a robust platform for those who want to sync Google Drive with Linux, offering features like sync local folders with Google Drive and Google Drive folder sync. If you’re wondering how to sync files in Google Drive using a GUI-based tool on Linux, Insync is the answer.

Installing and Configuring Insync

Insync offers the most full-featured Google Drive integration for Linux. The setup wizard makes installation straightforward:

  • Check for the update first, Open terminal windows and type “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt upgrade”, you may have to enter your password in this process.
sdo apt update
  • Download the Insync package from the insync website and install it through the GUI or terminal. When you visit the website by clicking the link you will be directed to the page shown in the image below. Click the version of Linux you have and you will see the download file at the top right corner. Go to download folder once the file is completely downloaded.
  • Double-click the downloaded file and select Software Install, as shown in the image below.
  • Nex Windows will show an option to Install so click Install. Then you will have to type your password to authenticate the installation.
  • You will get a notification once the installation is completed.

Close all the windows and click Show Applications at the bottom left corner, search for InSync in the search box, and click Insync to open it.

  • Click Google Drive to configure it.
  • Log into your Google account when prompted. Type your Gmail email and password and click allow at the bottom.

Once you are done entering your Gmail account information, close the last window and you will see the option to set up your account on Google Drive. Choose the default folder location to sync with Google Drive. Enable selective sync and bandwidth limits if desired. Access synced files through Nautilus/Files file manager.

Insync runs seamlessly in the background, reliably syncing uploads, downloads, and modifications bi-directionally. Additional capabilities like version control, sharing management, and document creation further bolster productivity.

You can also view a tutorial video to learn how to synchronize Google Drive on Linux using InSync.

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using overGrive

OverGrive is a convenient and efficient desktop application designed to seamlessly sync Google Drive with Linux systems. It stands out for its ability to synchronize multiple accounts from a single desktop, providing users with a straightforward way to access and manage their Google Drive files directly from their Linux environment.

With OverGrive, users can enjoy the benefit of automatic data synchronization between their desktop and Google Drive, ensuring that files are always up-to-date. Additionally, it offers a unique feature of converting Google Docs to Office file formats, enhancing the flexibility and accessibility of documents for offline editing.

This tool is particularly valuable for Linux users seeking to integrate their cloud storage with their desktop workflow, making file management and collaboration more efficient.

Installing and Configuring overGrive

To sync Google Drive on Linux using overGrive, follow these steps:

  • Updating the Package Manager: Update your system’s package manager with "sudo apt get update​”.
sdo apt update
  • Enable Ubuntu Universe Repository by running the “sudo add-apt-repository universe” command in the terminal​​.
  • Download the OverGrive installer package for your Linux distribution. For Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, download the .deb package file​.
  • Open the download folder and right click the setup file, and click the second option Open with other application.
  • Click Software Install on the next screen and click Select.
  • Click install on the next windows as shown below and authenticate the installation by typing your password.
  • When installation is completed you will see the Installed Size. You can close this window now and click Show Application from the bottom-left side.
  • Search for overGrive and click it to open it and you will see overGrive setup screen where you will have to click Connect Account and follow onscreen instructions to connect your Google Account.
  • Type your email and password and play with settings to get the desired result.

You can also view a tutorial video to learn how to synchronize Google Drive on Linux using overGrive.

Though not as fully featured as Insync, overGrive excels at bi-directional sync with extensive configuration options accessible to novice and expert Linux users.

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using Rclone

If you’re comfortable with the Linux sync command, Rclone provides a powerful command-line interface to sync Google Drive on Linux. It’s a versatile tool that can handle not just Google Drive sync for Linux but also a multitude of other cloud storage services. It’s particularly useful for rsync to Google Drive operations.

How to Sync Google Drive on Linux using ODrive

ODrive, often praised for its simplicity, is for those who need a straightforward sync command Linux utility. It allows you to sync folders with Google Drive efficiently, without the complexity of other tools. While it might not have as many features as Insync or Rclone, ODrive is a perfect solution for users looking for a no-frills Google Drive sync local folder option.


Your budget will also play a role in your choice:

  • Insync: Requires a one-time purchase, but offers a full-feature experience and a 15-day trial.
  • overGrive: Offers a one-time purchase that is typically lower than Insync’s cost, with a 15-day trial as well.
  • ODrive: Free to use with a basic feature set, with a premium subscription available for advanced features.

Practical Advice

  • Test the Tool: Use the trial periods offered to see which tool fits your workflow best.
  • Community and Support: Opt for tools with active community support or dedicated customer service.
  • Updates and Upgrades: Consider how often the tool is updated and whether it keeps pace with changes to Google Drive’s API and features.

Authoritative Sources

Consult official documentation and trusted Linux community sources when deciding which tool to use:

Automating Rsync for Background Google Drive Syncing

If you’re comfortable with the command line, rsync scripts allow granular sync automation for Google Drive. After installing rclone to interface with Google Drive:

  1. Mount Google Drive storage as a local drive with Rclone
  2. Craft a rsync command with source, destination, and sync options
  3. Add command to cron job scheduler to enable background runs
  4. Tweak rsync flags for one-way, incremental, etc. syncs

This method provides seasoned Linux users with complete control over sync behavior while leveraging the native cron daemon for scheduling.

Final Thoughts on Google Drive and Linux

Finding the right tool to sync Google Drive with Linux can make a significant difference in your productivity. Whether you choose a GUI tool like Insync or a command-line powerhouse like Rclone, the goal is to create a seamless bridge between Google Drive and Linux.

Remember, the right tool for you is the one that aligns with your workflow, fits your technical comfort level, and meets your syncing requirements. With the plethora of options available for Google Drive on Linux, you’re sure to find a solution that works for you.


Q: Can I use Google Drive on Linux natively without any third-party tools?
A: No, currently there is no official Google Drive client for Linux. Third-party tools are necessary to achieve desktop integration and automatic syncing.

Q: Are there any open-source options for Google Drive syncing on Linux?
A: Yes, ODrive is an open-source option, and Rclone is another popular open-source tool, though it’s more complex to set up and use.

Q: Is it possible to sync multiple Google Drive accounts on Linux?
A: Yes, tools like Insync allow you to sync multiple Google Drive accounts on your Linux system.

By considering these factors and utilizing the resources provided, you can make an informed decision and select the best Google Drive syncing tool for your Linux system.

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