This is a question that I find quite often from new users looking at switching over to Linux. The question of finding a good cloud client to work with whether it be to store photos for use in between devices or even for university students like myself needing to share documents in between desktop & laptop or mobile devices. Not everyone might necessarily agree on the choice of cloud service used, however could likely see why such a service would be needed or rather, used.
I've personally used Google Drive since it came out. I understand that Dropbox has a native client as does a variety of other "paid" services. I understand that it is not secure and anything I put up there, I am putting in the "big bad" company's hands and that there are a lot more services out there that would store my data more securely, etc. However, one of the reasons I choose to continue to use Google Drive is due to the amount of storage is given to a non-subscriber. I only store homework on Drive. If they want to take and use that, more power to them lol.
Anyway, the best drive client that I have found for connecting with Google Drive hands down has been Insync. Insync is a proprietary client, in essence meaning that you have to pay once to use it. Thankfully not a subscription based service. Enough to give credit to the developer and support that they provide. It essentially handles synchronization much like the client provided by Google, but a lot more streamlined. Also, the added badges to show which files are pending and which ones had been synced is an added bonus.
A full feature list of this client is available at:
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Now, one of the things that prompted me to write this story today is just how far Insync has progressed over time. I remember purchasing their client shortly after it had been released. At the time, they only had a package for Debian/Ubuntu. It has since been brought to Red Hat (RPM-based distros), and Arch. I recently had switched over to Manjaro 17 XFCE and have been really happy with it so far. I had attempted to install Insync, however for the first time had been met with some problems. I was able to install the client from AUR as well as the tray icon (sni-qt) and the corresponding file manager extension for Thunar. However, the client itself would only download 4 files from the root directory of my Drive. I sent a message to Insync support regarding this to see if there was anything they would recommend to essentially "force-sync" everything as it does in every other distro I have used it on. In the interim, I started looking for possible alternatives while I worked with their team.
I ended up running across a "free" gem of sorts kind of in an obscure post on the Arch Forums (don't remember the exact one). The client was called "Grive". Looked through so many of them trying to figure out what I could possibly do to get Insync to work. Can find more information here:
You are not allowed to view links.
I ended up installing Grive and associated Grive-Tools from AUR and I would have to say, I'm actually pretty impressed. I'm not fully aware of limitations with this client as it seems to essentially perform the same functions as its Insync alterntative? However, the setup was quite painless and it appears to have downloaded everything. I am going to use it for some time while we hash out the issues with Insync (actually surprisingly recognized the Google Drive folder created by Insync) and will report back any issues that I find with it.
Anyway, thought I would get this out there for anyone in a similar boat or looking for a potential Google Drive client for Linux.