Google Services integration with Ubuntu Desktops

Google, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Keep have literally become the daily necessity of many. People run their businesses and lives based on these services and their seamless integration in the popular OS has become all the more important. A little work is required in Ubuntu to get all of this to work nicely, bu the end result is rewarding

Starting off – Downloading and installing the Google Chrome browser makes majority of your headaches to go away. It gives one single window for you to manage all your google services. But common – this write up is not for installing Google Chrome.

Lets start

  1. Email – Nothing works better than Thunderbird in Ubuntu. IMAP works nicely ( @port # 993 and @ port # 465) with your email syncing in your desktop / laptop. It works great even if you have two factor authentication (use application specific password and enable ‘less secure apps’ option in Google settings).
  2. Calendar – There are two add-ons that you have install in Thunderbird – Lightning which is default calendar for Thunderbird and Google Provider for Calendar. When you install these two add-ons, you only need to create a new Calendar and add network -> Google calendar in the options. You have a bi-directional synching calendar working end to end. It also allows you to sync all / any calendars you have created in the web email, your birthday calendar, any special calendar you have subscribed to…seamlessly in one single options page. This will also allow you to sync your task list in Thunderbird. When prompted for password – use the regular gmail password not the application specific password.
  3. Contacts – Another add-on by the name of gcontactsync, available in Thunderbird. Follow onscreen instructions and you have a fully functional bi-directional contacts lists. It will sync all your lists as is and let you create new contacts through Thunderbird itself.

Other applications – Google Hangouts, Google Keep, Google Remote Desktop – These are extensions that once you enable / install in the Google Chrome Browser though the Google Web-store, appear in Ubuntu Dash. There on it is single sign-on. Once you sign in Google chrome, all these applications do not need you to sign-in again

The final – Google Drive – This is phenomenol. Works perfecy. It is a shame that one needs to do all of these things to get the Google Drive to integrate with Ubuntu. Google could do this for all the Linux users given Google uses Goobuntu :). Anyway, lets start with the installation of Google Drive.

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
  2. sudo apt-get update
  3. sudo apt-get install grive

The above will install the Google Drive back-end. We need the GUI – Common folks – typing commands in terminal……. naaah. Now installing the GUI of grive

  1. sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  2. At the end of the file add the following lines
    1. deb vivid main
    2. deb-src vivid main
  3. Save the file and exit (Cntl O followed by Cntl X)
  4. sudo apt-get update
  5. sudo apt-get install grive-tools

Yippeee. We are done. Google drive is now installed in Ubuntu. You have to configure and put in your credentials to authenticate Google Sync to your desktop. The above activities will create a new folder ‘Google Drive’ in your Home folder. The synching has not started as yet

Configuring Google Drive

  1. Either search in the dash for  ‘ Grive Setup’ or in terminal type : sudo grive-setup
  2. A dialogue will open up and follow on-screen instructions

Google Drive is now installed in Ubuntu. For it work perfectly restart the computer a couple of times. A google drive icon will appear in the panel on the right hand-side top. Attached in the snapshot of Google Drive icon in my PC.






2 thoughts on “Google Services integration with Ubuntu Desktops

  1. Boo hoo from those who have 32-bit systems. Google aren’t providing Chrome since October 2016. You can use Chromium but it keeps crashing on me all the time, so not a goer. Sniff.

  2. Too bad Google is no longer supporting Linux Chrome on 32-bit machines. This buggy piece of crap that freezes all the time desperately needs fixing. Same for equally crappy Chromium.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s