How to install & use the Google Backup and Sync on Ubuntu

Cloud storage is really one of the safest and efficient ways of storing numerous files. Multiple options are available for choosing the most appropriate cloud storage, but Google is the favourite for most users, as a single account can give you access to almost everything from the most reliable search results to mail services, which even include the Play Store, and some nifty other services like Google Keep, Google Docs, and what not. You can even download Google Drive on your smartphone and PC to sync files easily on the cloud and access it from everywhere, without the need of opening Google Drive on the web and upload or download them manually.

But in spite of Google Drive being such a mature cloud storage platform, the unavailability of the Google Drive app on Linux is a big drawback. That is a deal breaker for most users who want to ditch Windows and move to Linux. But in spite of the unavailability of the official app, you can use Google Drive for Linux Mint or can use Google Backup and Sync on Linux quite effortlessly with the Google Drive API on Linux, with the help of Gnome. You will be able to access Google Drive as a network drive, which means you can save files directly to it, or open a file from it with minimum hassles. You will have to tinker around with the Linux command line, but trust me, it will be short. To get Google Drive for Linux and Ubuntu, you will just need a single command.

So let’s get started with the tutorial. I will be showing this tutorial on Ubuntu Linux which is no doubt the most popular distribution of Linux, liked by many.

Install & use Google Backup and Sync on Ubuntu Linux via the command terminal

The steps to follow to install Google Drive on Ubuntu 17.o4, 16.04,15.04,,12.04. However, if you are on Ubuntu 18.04 then you don’t need to install anything. The online accounts are already there.

Step 1: Download the google backup and sync on Ubuntu linux

To download the google backup and sync on Ubuntu; just open the Linux command line or ‘Terminal’ and type the following command followed by hitting the enter key.

sudo apt install gnome-control-center gnome-online-accounts


You might be asked to enter the password. Just type it and hit the enter key.

You will get a message about whether to download the content or not. Just type ‘Y’ and hit the enter key.Google Backup and Sync on Ubuntu Linux

Step 2: Downloaded and install Gnome Control centre

As gnome control centre will be downloaded and install, it might take some time depending upon the speed of your system and network. Once the download is finished, you will get the following output.Google Backup and Sync on Ubuntu Linux commands

Step 3: Open the Control Centre

Now open the control centre. You can either open it from the ‘Terminal’ by typing ‘gnome-control-center’, or you can even open it by going to the ‘Apps’ icon on your desktop.gnome control center command

If you are using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, you will not need to go through the above step. Gnome Control Center comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 18.04 Just install the above packages if you are not having Gnome Control Center installed on your system.

Step 4: Setup Google Accounts

Now find out the option saying ‘Online Accounts’. Just click on that, you will find a plethora of online accounts, which you can add. Yes, you can even get different accounts such as Facebook, next cloud, Microsoft and more…

Google Drive on Ubuntu

Step 5: Enter Google Account ID

As you click on the Google account option, it will ask to provide the Email ID associated with Google Account.

Google backup and sync download Ubuntu

Step 6: Google Account Password

It will ask for the password of the Email ID or Google account you entered.

Enter password Google drive ubuntu_LI

Step 7: Allow Google App to access your system

Click on the Allow button so that Google can access the system for showing the Google drive files and folders.

give rights to Google drive on Ubuntu

Step 8: Select the Google Sync items

Select the things for which you want to use the Google Account on Ubuntu systems such as Mail, Contacts, Documents, Photos, Files and Printers…

Google sync Ubuntu

Step 9: Access the Google Drive for backup and Sync on Ubuntu

Now go to File manager of Ubuntu and in the left side just above the Other locations you will see a drive labelled with your Google account email ID that is the Google drive. Click on that and all the files and folders, if you have any on your Google Drive will appear.

For Google backup and sync just save all your files and folders in this drive and it will automatically sync PC to Google Drive or Google Drive to PC. You can also create a folder inside this and then create a shortcut of the same on Ubuntu desktop for easy access.

Installed succesfully Google Drive on Ubuntu_LI

Other Useful Resources:

6 thoughts on “How to install & use the Google Backup and Sync on Ubuntu”

  1. Unluckily the below message (translated from spanish) is being displayed once you try to use above solution:
    “Logging in with Google in this application has been temporarily disabled
    We have not yet verified this application so you can use Google login.”

  2. Thanks for this article. Tried adding the online-account under Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 32bit for file sync, and its working. It was of grate help.

  3. I use that for some time. The problem that it only uses cloud to read and write files. So every time you want to open, save or delete some file you have to wait a time relatively higher than local files. Im considering small files. If you manipulating huge amount of data the time increases a lot. I prefer something stored locally, like rsync. Anyway it not provides auto sync, so you have to always manual sync or code a script for that (dangerous). If anyone have a better solution please share. I hope it helps.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.