Install one of the best Google Drive sync tools made specifically for the Linux desktop.
If there's one piece of advice I always give Google Drive power users it's that they should make sure to back up their data. Period. Yes, it should be assumed that Google has your back. After all, they are a massive company, storying enormous amounts of data in the cloud. However, you simply never know when disaster might strike. And it does strike. Should that occur, you'll be relieved to know you have a backup copy of your data.
But how do you backup a Google Drive cloud account? For Windows and macOS users, there's the official Google Drive desktop client. For Linux users, there are a few options, many of which are not truly viable for business or other types of Google Drive power users. That brings me to Insync. I've been using that tool for quite some time, with fairly good results. However, upon upgrading from version 1.x to 3.x, my Insync license was invalidated. Being the paranoid person I am (and always wanting to make sure I have a backup), I sent them a message with the assumption they wouldn't get back to me right away. And so, I went in search of a replacement.
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Said replacement came in the form of OverGrive. When I first stumbled upon OverGrive, I was skeptical. What I needed was a GUI tool that didn't just mount Google Drive to my Linux desktop or server, but actually could pull off a two-way sync. After a bit of digging around, I realized that OverGrive might well be the tool for the gig.
Like Insync, OverGrive does have an associated cost. However, the cost for a single-user license for OverGrive is only $4.99. You can kick the tires of the tool for 14 days, but if you want to keep using, you'll have to pony up.
Trust me when I say that it's very much worth the price of admission. Unlike Insync, OverGrive is incredibly simple to use, and it performs flawlessly, whereas with Insync, I'd often run into sync delays or even files refusing to sync. So for $4.99, you cannot beat this tool.
Features of OverGrive
Although OverGrive is really simple to use, it offers more features than you might think. The list includes:
- Auto-sync Google Drive to your local drive
- Backup local files to Google Drive
- Select which Drive folders you want to sync
- Select location of local sync destination
- Convert Google Docs to MS Office file formats
- Convert Office files back to Google Docs format
- Exclusion by file extension
- Choose how items are removed from Google Drive
- Backup only option
- Sync multiple accounts (Note: A license is required for each account to be synched)
How to install OverGrive
OverGrive can be installed on nearly any Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Elementary, CentOS, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch, etc.). OverGrive also integrates with GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mint, Pantheon, and LXDE desktop (Note: There is no file manager integration at the moment).
I'm going to walk you through installing on Pop!_OS Linux, which is an Ubuntu derivative. The installation is actually quite simple. Here's how:
- Activate the Universe repository with the command sudo add-apt-repository universe && sudo apt-get update.
- Download the latest version of OverGrive.
- Install the downloaded .deb file with the command sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/overgrive*.deb.
- If the installation errors out, fix the issue with the command sudo apt-get install -f.
After the installation completes, launch OverGrive. You will be prompted to first click OK to open the setup tool. Within the setup tool (Figure A), click Connect Account and then, when prompted, log in to your Google account. You will then be offered a code to copy/paste into the OverGrive settings window. Make sure to copy that code and then go back to the settings window. Paste the code and click Validate. You can then configure precisely how you want OverGrive to sync your Google Drive account.
After setting OverGrive up, it will immediately begin syncing to the local directory on your desktop or server. Depending on how much data you have on your Google Drive account, this can take some time. So be patient. Step away from the desk or take on another task.
If you wind up liking OverGrive, purchase a license. You will be mailed a license key that you will then copy and paste into OverGrive. To enter that key, close the OverGrive app and re-open it. You will then be prompted to paste the full license key. Once you've done that, you're good to go.
Enjoy one of the finest Google Drive sync tools, made specifically for the Linux platform.
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