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Imagine 15,000 people, all desperately wanting to use your product – so much so that they take time out of their day to sign a petition. That’s the case for Google: a petition demanding a Linux version of Google Drive is rapidly approaching its goal of 15,000 signatures.

Google Drive is two things: the highly anticipated sync service from the web giant, and the name for the web service once called Google Docs. Linux users can currently use Google’s web products without issue, but not the syncing service – there’s no official client for the open source operating system.

Similar to Dropbox and Microsoft’s Sky Drive, the desktop software syncs documents in a particular folder on the users’ computer to the cloud. This allows users to access their files online, or to sync them between multiple devices. Google offers users of the service 15 GB for file storage (though that storage is split between Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos).

It’s this desktop client that Linux users want – and blog OMG Ubuntu reported a Linux version is on the way over a year ago. Sick of waiting, users are signing the petition in the hopes Google – a company where many employees use a variation of Ubuntu at work – can speed the process along. Some expressed displeasure with the search giant not supporting the software their company runs on.

“Come on Google, your whole business runs on Linux,” wrote Euan de Kock, from Australia. “Pay up and support it.”


It’s not as though Linux users don’t have choice when it comes to cloud syncing: Dropbox has been on available on the platform for years, and Ubuntu comes bundled with its own cloud storage service Ubuntu One: An Unknown But Worthy Contender In Cloud Storage Ubuntu One: An Unknown But Worthy Contender In Cloud Storage Just a little over a week ago, a lot of news was made in the world of personal cloud storage, where Dropbox added more sharing features, SkyDrive introduced their new synchronization application for desktops, and... Read More . But as more than a few petition signers pointed out, Linux and Google have quite a few mutual fans.

“I love Ubuntu and Google,” wrote Tomas Martins, from Portugual.

There’s a reason no petition exists for Skydrive on Linux.

Act now: You too can add your voice to the Linux Google Drive Petition.

So what do you think: will Google give the people what they want? And when it does, will Linux users actually use Google Drive? Or will they, like Windows and Mac users, uninstall the software when they realize they’re not sure what to use it for? Chime away in the comments below.


Image Credit: Penguin photo from The Spheniscus magellanicus at the Cabo Vírgenes Provincial Reserve, in southern Argentina

  1. dave
    September 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm
  2. steven_c
    July 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    linux ninjas and trolls , hi ;)

    1) prism is about tapping the fibre optic cable outside of google and storing everything for later cracking. link "listen and understand" Damien!
    NSL stuff is patriot act BS (not the same thing)

    "the war on terror is over , osama is dead , there will always be idiots with pipe bombs, and handgun spree killers meh"
    democracy will continue when the patriot act is broken by the people.

    2) linux ?
    the issue is one of "adoption vs support"
    (chicken and egg) no one supports linux = no one adopts linux
    the weak link is support* imho

    a standing army of linux activist going after those who dont support linux
    and who claim to do so , or use it "gooubuntu"
    in the media and in the marketing / advocacy / educational areas

    "hi this is intel do you need new hardware"
    "sorry not buying intel next year the lockout linux chip means f*7k off"

    3) july 3 - july 4 (1000) "give it a chance to catch fire" dragonmouth?

    4) insync lol (6 dudes in a shopping mall office in singapore) no thanks

    5) there is no 5 just tl:dr break ...

    6) encryption of files before uploading to drive
    "linux users are screwed they cant enrcypt for toffee" (sarc)

    7) donky ? free choice for all , do your own thing :)

    8) when were done , we vote as a democracy about what we do next.
    XMPP OTR LaTeX Picassa (lazza evernote noted*)

    9) linux users are the top 5-10% of intelligent demographic computer users
    (steam gamers coming this way soon)

    10) when we get everything working WorknMan , i hope you donate the money you save from buying new OS's and stuff, to the charity of your choice.
    ACLU or ORG please ;)

    steven c
    ... "and im all outta gum"

  3. Lazza
    July 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Honestly, given that Google Drive (and Ubuntu One) don't provide an alternative to the 30 days backup that Dropbox offers, there is very little choice in terms of cloud sync services, especially if you use the software for something serious like university or work, and not just to sync your MP3s across devices.

    • Justin Pot
      July 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Yeah, the backup is kind of Dropbox's killer feature, isn't it?

      • Lazza
        July 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Absolutely. :) I signed the petition anyways, because it's correct to have a client for Linux. Still, I hope the petition for an Evernote client will be a success, because that is the company constantly claiming to have "cross platform" products, when it should say "cross proprietary platform + android". Evernote for Linux is much more needed, the open source clients are not at the same level, but that's another story. :P

        • Alex
          July 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          There is Everpad.

        • Lazza
          July 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

          There is a reason why I wrote «the open source clients are not at the same level» and it's precisely for Everpad. ;) I used it for a while in order to have a local backup, but it's feature-lacking, unconvenient and difficult to use it productively so I always reverted to using the web interface for everything. I know NixNote 2 is in the works, but this is not an excuse for Evernote to ignore a paying (well, now for me "former paying") customer base.

  4. Pooky J
    July 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    The Linux mascot is not the Chinstrap Penguin however.

    • Justin Pot
      July 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      These guys are Linux enthusiasts, though, and wanted to temporarily represent the brand.

      • Pooky J
        July 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm

        Up to you :D

  5. Mirza
    July 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Like any business Google probably looks at projects return on investment before it develops a product. If ROI for drive on Linux is not high enough than Google would prefer to invest money into a more profitable project.

  6. donky
    July 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Just get a real desktop OS. Linux is a waste of time on desktop.

    • dragonmouth
      July 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      What did you say your last name is: KONG?

      I would get a real desktop O/S but the learning curve for Plan 9 is rather steep.

  7. Jesus
    July 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Anyway, new Google Maps does not support Linux too... Google changes its way: now loving propietary soft...

    • dragonmouth
      July 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Unless they changed it in the last 24 hours, Google Maps does work with Linux. I just laid out my trip from the East Coast to Colorado with no problems.

    • Austin
      July 2, 2013 at 12:22 am

      The Maps beta works just fine for me in Linux. Slow but working in Firefox, and very smooth in Chrome. I have an Nvidia card with the proprietary drivers. Keep in mind not all graphics drivers and browsers properly support WebGL, and it's still in beta. Google is usually pretty good about Linux support, at least with their main products. Drive is the big exception.

      • snogglethorpe
        July 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        I dunno what version of FF you use but I get fairly significant rendering errors with FF 22 in Linux (debian) for the new maps... Together with the sloth-like speed and heavy resource usage, it's basically not usable there...

  8. Paul
    July 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Signed, said it needed just 195 more.

    • Esaure
      July 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      155 needed now.

  9. Abhijit
    July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Getting a native Drive client for linux from Google would be really great for many people given that people use gmail and other google apps more often than microsoft's skydrive etc.

  10. Damien
    July 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    You should abandon Googles services to avoid any Prism issue.

    Linux users are creating a hole for Google spying

    • Esaure
      July 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      I bet that you use non-USA software-services at all to avoid any PRISM issue, if you do, think about it.

    • Freaky
      July 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Yes - because other big cloud services don't get spied on.

      Also - it's only the US spying... The UK spies, NL spies, DE spies, FR spies and the list goes on and on. That there was a whistleblower on PRISM doesn't mean the other governments are that much better - they all spy and plenty too.

      Doesn't mean you can't encrypt your files with your own keys before you put em in the cloud tho' :). Good luck asking company X for keys they don't have.

      • Justin Pot
        July 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        Use Russian servers, be safe from spies.

  11. WorknMan
    July 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hence, why I don't use Linux :P

    • dragonmouth
      July 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Hence why I don't use Google services in particular and cloud services in general.

      Only 15,000 signers out of millions of users? Does not seem to me like there is too much call for Google Drive among Linux users.

    • Milo359
      October 17, 2013 at 1:04 am

      Hey, Google is awesome! Oh, & Apple sucks!

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