Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Update: the promotion has expired however, I'm not removing this article because it also contains a fix for an issue some of you may encounter in Ubuntu 16.04 (and probably other Linux distributions as well).

Insync is an unofficial Google Drive client available for Linux, Window and Mac. The application is not free (well, except for the next 51 hours): it costs $25 per Google account (one-time fee), along with plans for 3 Google accounts and business.

Insync Ubuntu

For the next 51 hours, you can get an Insync Plus account (for one Google account) for free. Simply sign up using THIS link with your @gmail.com or @googlemail.com account. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to Google apps users.

After signing up, download, install and login using your Gmail account on the Insync app within the next 24 hours to activate your free Insync Plus account.

Note: for Ubuntu 16.04 and 15.10, download the Insync 14.04 deb. If Insync fails to start for you, there's a fix/workaround at the end of the article.

Insync features:
  • nested selective sync (allows you to selectively sinc subfolders and files) and ignore list (allows adding rules for files and folders that you don't want to upload or download);
  • both desktop and command line interfaces (a headless client is also available)
  • symlink, junction and alias support;
  • support for external and network drives;
  • options to convert Google Docs to OpenDocument or Microsoft Office formats (by default it doesn't convert Google Docs)
  • recent changes feed;
  • integrates with most file managers on Linux (Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Thunar and Dolphin)
  • supports multiple accounts (but using the free promo, you can only use one account with Insync Plus)
  • proxy support, desktop notifications and more

In Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint and derivatives, after installing Insync, a repository is automatically added which is used for future Insync updates as well as to install the Insync file manager integration.

After authorizing Insync with your Google account, the application will ask you if you want to install the file manager integration package (Insync tries to detect your desktop environment). 

If this doesn't show up for you or you want to install the Insync file manager integration for another file manager, you can do this manually. Firstly update the software sources:
sudo apt update
And then install the Insync integration for your file manager:
sudo apt install insync-FILEMANAGER
... replacing "FILEMANAGER" with: caja, dolphin, nautilus, nemo or thunar.

Important: in my test, Insync failed to start in Ubuntu 16.04 . To fix it, I renamed (thanks to the Insync AUR package) /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 to /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.old.  To apply this fix/workaround from the command line, use:
sudo mv /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1 /usr/lib/insync/libfontconfig.so.1.old
After running the command above, try running Insync - now it hopefully works.

Tip: you can encrypt your Google Drive files using Cryptomator.