How to install Google Drive on Linux Mint

Google Drive lets you store your data in the cloud that makes it easier to share your data across cross-platform devices.

Google Drive is great for storing data in the cloud, meaning your files are synced across several devices for instant access through the internet connection. To date, it has been proven to be secure and stable. Users are given 17GB of storage for free and additional space can be purchased on monthly or annual plans.

Unfortunately, Linux Mint 18.1 and even the latest 18.2 doesn’t come pre-installed with the Cloud accounts app. In this tutorial, we shall install GNOME Online accounts, and using this feature, you can log into your Google Drive account. Here is a step-by-step guide on setting up Google Drive on Linux Mint.

Installing Google Drive via GNOME-Online-Accounts

STEP 1: Launch ‘Terminal’.

STEP 2: Enter the following command to install the GNOME Control Center.

sudo apt-get install gnome-control-center

STEP 3: Enter the following command to install GNOME Online Accounts.

sudo apt-get install gnome-online-accounts

STEP 4: Let’s launch Gnome Online Accounts from Terminal. Copy and paste the following command, and hit enter.

Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center --overview

Setting up Google Drive

STEP 5: You should now see the GNOME Control Center. Note that this will look similar to the ‘System Settings’ app of Linux Mint, but both are different.

GNOME Settings
GNOME Settings

STEP 6: Click ‘Online Accounts’.

STEP 7: Click ‘Add Online Account’.

Adding Online Account
Adding Online Account

STEP 8: Go ahead and add your Google Account. After entering the correct credentials, you should see your Google account and Google Drive data.

Google Account Added
Google Account Added

You should see your Google account in the network section of the Nemo (Files) app.

Google Drive in Files App
Google Drive in Files App

Note that you will see a directory with your google account in the “Home” section. This directory will not sync from PC to cloud, but vice-versa is true. In order to have a sync capability from PC to Google Drive, you must use the directory in the “Network” section of the “Files” app.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

32 COMMENTS

  1. Hier,
    I was searching for a solution to point my different Google Drive accounts on Linux Mint 18.2.
    Your tutorial is really clear and so simple to follow.
    Now i can access and use my differents Google Drive easily from the file manager.
    Thanks a lot !

  2. Is it possible to change the directory? On windows, I pointed my google drive to an external drive of mine. I’d like to do the same on linux.

  3. Hey Kiran,
    thanks for the instructions. I’m on Linux Mint 18.1 Serena. However, after clicking on “add online account”, I don’t manage to sign into my google account and get the following error in the terminal:

    Error loading module ‘/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/nppdf.so’: /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/nppdf.so: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS32
    Error scanning plugin /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/nppdf.so, /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/webkit2gtk-4.0/WebKitPluginProcess returned 256 exit status

    Any suggestions what to do?
    Thanks,
    Anne

  4. What about Grive2. This will allow you to sync and save your google drive. while manual, it will allow you access your data if you do not have online access…

  5. Could anybody explain me how the command, ‘Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center –overview’, works?

    I have no idea with the beginning part of the command started with ‘Exec=’, and also the middle part of the command connected without any separator such as ‘&&’ or ‘|’ between ‘env’ and ‘gnome-control-center’ commands.

  6. Hi Kiran, Thanks for the workaround! I installed per your instructions and added a readable Gdrive with no problems. So, I want to install an additional Gdrive, when I go to the add accounts window the add accounts button remains grayed out. I deleted the original account thinking that might help, but no help there either. I also tried entering sudo Exec string with no luck. Any ideas / solutions ?
    Mint 18.3
    Cheers, G

  7. Succesfully added my Google Account via Online-Accounts in System Settings.
    However, it only shows/pulls in “Hangouts” to the Online-Account; NO Drive, NO contacts, NO calender etc.

    Check settings on Google for authorized apps and it’s showing that KDE/Ubunte is authorized to access ALL Google services.

    Any idea what the problem is?

  8. Sorry, I followed instructions but get Error sending IPC message: Broken Pipe
    and gnome-contro-center:2828 Warnings: 12:57:11.600, 614, 615
    12:58:54.629. ++more similar. I am using Mint. Mate 19. 32bit

  9. WILL NOT ACCEPT CREDENTIALS: My credentials expired again. Though I followed the instructions above, as before, Google Drive will not accept my credentials this time. I am entering my username and password correctly, because my Google account accepts them.
    I am running Linux Mint 18.2. What should I do to make my installation accept my credentials?

    • I got a similar problem:”Sign in with Google temporarily disabled for this app” “This app has not yet be verified by Google in order to use Google sign in”.

  10. When using Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center –overview
    It bring up the window to add account…well clicking on it does nothing. no other action happens.

  11. Hello Kiran, I just want to express my gratitude for your exlanation about what to install and how to manage Gdrive with Linuw.
    I have just installed Linux Mint and want to learn how to use it at its best, and you surely helped me!
    Keep on producing this good stuff!

    Really appreciated,

    thank you

  12. I just installed this under Mint 19.3. I see the link under the network section of of the filemanager.

    When I click on the link … it takes a moment (“loading” in bottom corner of window) for the contents to load.

    Is this a persistent feature now or will I need to run the Exec command after each reboot? If not, how can it be made persistent?

    Also, does this automatically bring down the data in my Google Drive account? Or is there something else I need to do?

    Thanks,

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