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How to access Google Drive in Elementary OS

Google Drive is one of the leading cloud storage providers available on the web and a favorite with Linux users. Unfortunately, there’s no official Linux app for the platform, so users have developed their own.

One of the best Google Drive applications on Linux is VGrive. It’s a beautiful app that takes the difficulty out of syncing files from Google onto your Linux PC. In this guide, we will go over how to get it working on Elementary OS.

Note: this guide assumes you are running Elementary OS 5.0. If you are not, please follow this guide to learn how to upgrade before continuing with the tutorial below.

Install VGrive in Elementary OS

VGrive is an elegant application for syncing Google Drive files to Elementary OS. However, before we go over how to use this beautiful application, we must first demonstrate how to install the app on your system.

To start the installation, ensure that your Elementary OS app is entirely up to date (with the latest patches). Then, follow along below to get VGrive on your system.

AppCenter

By far, the quickest and easiest way to install the VGrive application on Elementary OS is by getting it through Elementary OS’s AppCenter store. To start, open “Applications,” and type out “AppCenter.” Or, click on the store icon in the dock to open it.

Once the AppCenter app is open on the desktop, make your way to the search box on the right, and click on it with the mouse. From there, enter “VGrive” in the text box, and press Enter to run a search.

After running a search in AppCenter for “VGrive,” click on the “VGrive” in the results, to access its AppCenter page.

On VGrive’s AppCenter page, click the “Free” button and a password box will appear. Enter your password, and VGrive will install itself on Elementary OS.

Building from source

Getting VGrive on Elementary OS is best done with AppCenter. However, if you don’t feel like doing it that way, you’ll be able to compile the software from source with the instructions below.

Note: please read the GitHub page for VGrive to know what dependencies you must install to build the source code to use it on Elementary OS.

Once all of the dependencies are set up on your Elementary OS PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard, and use the commands below to install VGrive.

git clone https://github.com/bcedu/VGrive.git

After downloading the source code for VGrive on Elementary OS, move into the “VGrive” directory with CD.

cd VGrive

Set up the build environment with the meson build command.

meson build --prefix=/usr

Move into the “build” directory with the CD command.

cd build

Compile the software with the ninja command.

ninja

Finally, install it with ninja install.

sudo ninja install

Setting up VGrive

Setting up the VGrive app starts by launching it on the desktop. To launch VGrive, click on “Applications” with the mouse, and search for “VGrive.” Then, click on the app icon to start it on the desktop.

When the VGrive application is open, you’ll see “Welcome. Start syncing your Google Drive Files.” Select the “log in” button in the center of the screen.

After clicking on the “Log in” button, VGrive will display another page. On this page, you’ll see a blue button with “Give permission to VGrive” on it. Click it with the mouse to start the login process.

Once you’ve selected “Give permission to VGrive,” the default web browser on Elementary OS will launch with the Google sign-in page. Enter your Google account details and click the “Next” button.

Following the sign-in page, Google will ask you to give VGrive access to your Google Drive account. Click the “Allow” button. Then, after selecting the “Allow” button, copy the code on the page to your clipboard and return to the VGrive app. In the VGrive application, press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste the Google authentication code inside.

Following adding the code into VGrive, you’ll see a page called “Preferences.” Use this page to customize where the sync folder is located on the system, and click the blue “Continue” button. Your data will instantly start syncing to ~/vGrive.

Accessing Drive files in Elementary OS

Accessing Drive files on your Elementary OS PC is done with the Pantheon file manager. To start, click on “Applications” and open the app menu. Then, type “files” in the search box, and launch the “Files” app.

Inside of the “Files” app, locate the “vGrive” folder, and click on it with the mouse to instantly gain access to your Google Drive files.

Upload files

Need to upload some files to Google Drive from Elementary OS? Place the file or folder inside of the “vGrive” directory.

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