Semi-Official Google Drive Support For Linux Arrives, What’s Next?


Three years ago, when a user would attempt to download the Google Drive Sync Client, Google would bring them to the appropriate download page, which of course, is based off of the operating system that user is running on. If a user would attempt to download the Google Drive Sync Client while running on Linux, they’d land on a page where the message reads: “Not (yet) supported for Linux.” So, what’s the deal with Google not developing a sync client for Linux users, seeing as to how they build a lot of their things using Linux? There’s one simple answer to that, unfortunately. Windows is mainstream, so a lot of their focus is put on what a majority of people use. The bigger the market, the more money in their pockets, of course. But don’t fear, change is near!


Recently, I came across a command-line program that Burcu Dogan, a Google engineer developed as semi-official alternative solution for Linux users, called “drive.” It’s written in Google’s programming language which is known as “Go.” This does not support background data syncing from what I’ve noticed, but it can push the data from Google Drive to your computer or vice versa. It acts as a “push or pull” program, to put it simply. For example, if you need to download anything on your computer from Google Drive, you’d execute the pull command, whereas if you want to upload something to drive from your computer, you execute the push command.


Getting Started

To get started, open your Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install golang git mercurial

Next, type:

go get

Need help? Type:

drive help

You will be asked to choose a local directory. Choose one. You will then authenticate yourself by logging into your Google account when prompted to do so.

You’re done! Now, here’s how to upload a file from your computer to your Google Drive account using the command-line. Enter:

drive push example.txtor, to download a file from Google Drive to your computer: drive /pull/example/example.txt

That’s all there is to it! It’s a simple process if you just need a few files to be accessed by the push and pull command, but a hassle if you need need to access lots of files and have them automatically sync between your computer and the cloud service. Need a third-party Google Drive Client? Check out InSynch.