07 January 2013

306. Insync with Google Drive and Google Docs on Debian Testing/Wheezy

The problem:
1. It would be nice to be able to use Google Docs as a replacement for Microsoft Word until Libre/OpenOffice catch up (post about that later) or the world switches to LaTeX and
2. for that to happen there needs to be an easier way to sync documents between google docs and your harddrive than using email.

The closest thing to that is using Google Drive to keep documents synced, and opening them in Google Docs using your browser.

It's been more than half a year since promising that Google Drive would be available for linux, and Google has yet to actually release anything (here) and it almost looks like vaporware (here).

In lieu of an official solution, there are a few options. One is Grive -- which seems to work with Google Drive but not Google Docs -- and another one is Insync, which isn't open source as it is owned by a start-up. It's the most promising and full-featured solution though, so we'll go with that.

There used to be gdocsfs, but it doesn't seem to be maintained.

The usual caveats about installing things from outside the repos apply, and even more so in this case since the source code is not available.

Setting up Insync
sudo apt-get install xdotool python-nautilus libxdo2 gir1.2-nautilus-3.0
mkdir -p ~/tmp/insync
cd ~/tmp/insync
wget http://s.insynchq.com/builds/insync-beta-gnome-cinnamon-common_0.9.34_amd64.deb
wget http://s.insynchq.com/builds/insync-beta-gnome_0.9.34_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

If all went well you'll find InSync installed (move mouse to top-right corner, type insync and it should be there). Clicking on it opens a browser tab, in which you're asked to select the gmail account you wish to use.

You're next asked to allow InSync to do various things:

Confirm (you'll then get an email) and associate your machine with the account.

You should now have a new set of folders in $HOME:
`-- me@gmail.com

If you create a directory either in ~/Insync/me@gmail or in google drive using your browser, the directory should show up in both places (i.e. it's synced) -- assuming that you've got insync running:
insync --headless > /dev/null &

will keep it running in the background. Any doc file copied to the insync folder will now be editable in Google docs by pointing your browser to https://drive.google.com/#my-drive

Simple as that.

No comments:

Post a Comment