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[How To] Access Google Drive Via Nautilus in Ubuntu

Google’s newly-launched ‘Drive’ feature may have failed to give Linux users a client from the get go – but that doesn’t mean we need to go without entirely.

A temporary solution is available for those willing to try it. It’s not as elegant or featured as the clients Google provides for Windows and Mac users, but it may help bide the time for avid Google-users looking to make the most of Drive before something more official arrives.

Google Docs Drive FS

The package comes courtesy of Luca Invernizzi, and is based on the discontinued ‘google docs fs’ project that “[allows] you to connect to Google Docs and treat it as a file system.”

Sounds technical, but put simply it means you can access the files and documents in your Google Drive as you would any other folder.

But there are limitations to this approach.

The majority of features billed in the Google Drive clients themselves are not provided in this fix – the most notable of which is the inability to add files, sync files or otherwise access the folder whilst offline; uploading additional files to the Drive also doesn’t seem to function fully.

With the disclaimers out of the way lets see how you get it all set up.

First you need to add the packages provided by Luca and available in his PPA (11.10 only at present): –

  • 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 username@gmail.com
  • Input your password
  • Your Google Drive is now mounted in the ‘Drive’ folder

With thanks to Luca