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How To Synchronize Files On Ubuntu With OneDrive

Danny Stieben 10-07-2014

Microsoft just bumped up the amount of free storage you get with OneDrive, which may be incentive enough for you to use it on your favorite Linux distribution. However, Microsoft doesn’t have an official client for Ubuntu.


Enter OneDrive-d. This app that’s currently under development promises to allow you to synchronize your beloved files with OneDrive. Here’s how to get going with it.

Why OneDrive?

Microsoft wants to make OneDrive more popular, and what better way to do that than to give more free storage and slash prices for everything else? Now, free users get a generous 15GB of storage, which is the same amount that Google offers. But on OneDrive it’s dedicated to just your files, while on Google those 15GB are shared across all Google services including Gmail.

Besides more storage for free users, Microsoft slashed prices for additional storage by 70%, meaning that you can get 100GB for just $1.99 per month, which is far cheaper than the $7.49 per month it was originally. Finally, they’ve also bumped up the storage given to Office 365 subscribers to a whopping 1TB, still at just $6.99 per month. I’m sure the 1TB upgrade is meant to entice users to get the Office 365 package, but sadly that won’t be of much use to Ubuntu users.

Using OneDrive could be a decent storage solution for you, since Dropbox still only offers 2GB for free users and Ubuntu One has disappeared Ubuntu One Is Doomed; Try These 5 Linux-Friendly Alternatives Ubuntu One, the cloud storage and music service made specifically for Ubuntu users, is shutting down. Here are the best alternatives. Read More . Of course, you can always try to get some additional space How To Get The Most Free Space On Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive & More - The Complete Guide Cloud storage services offer a minimum amount of free space to everyone who signs up, but you can often get more. You can upgrade your cloud drive with gigabytes and gigabytes of free space in... Read More on your favorite cloud storage providers.

OneDrive-d For Ubuntu

Now that you know why you may want to use OneDrive for your cloud storage needs, let’s move on to how to accomplish it. The OneDrive-d utility isn’t available in any repos yet, so we’ll just have to run a few commands to download and install it correctly. This should be as easy as copy and paste.



First, head to OneDrive-d on GitHub and download the latest version of the utility. Now unzip it, and move the resulting folder into your Home directory (not the Downloads folder that you’re most likely in, but the folder above it so that it’s at the same level as Downloads, Documents, etc.)

Now, open up a terminal and type this command:

cd onedrive-d-master/ && sudo ./inst install

This will direct the terminal to the unzipped folder and then run the installer script. Once installation finishes, the preferences window should show up automatically. If it doesn’t, run the command:




With the preferences window, you can log into your Microsoft account that you use for OneDrive. For now, there’s only support for one account and as far as I know there aren’t any concrete plans to add support for multiple accounts. Once you’ve done that, you can also choose the folder you’d like to designate for syncing with OneDrive. If you want to choose a brand new folder, you’ll need to make it yourself as the utility doesn’t make its own OneDrive folder.

Additionally, you can choose to exclude various temporary files, Windows-only files, and Mac-only files from synchronization as they’re really not needed. I’d recommend turning them on unless you plan on connecting other computers that use these files.

From here on out, the utility should synchronize with OneDrive just fine! You’ll see it in the tray icon so that you know it’s open and working, and in a good place to check up on it if necessary.


Since the utility is still pretty young, it doesn’t yet have an option to start it during each boot, so you’ll have to do this yourself. If you want to start the utility yourself, you can just run the command onedrive-d in a terminal. Otherwise, you’ll need to add it to your list of startup applications.

In Ubuntu, open the Dash and search for Startup Applications. Then add a new entry and use onedrive-d as the command. Fill everything else out however you’d like.

Sync Files To OneDrive Or Google Drive?

With this utility, you can finally use OneDrive on Ubuntu, with support for other Linux distributions on the way. Now if only we had the same for Google Drive, as I’m sure more people would rather sync to that than OneDrive…

Would you use OneDrive with Linux? What about Google Drive if there was a free synchronization utility for it? Let us know in the comments!


Related topics: Microsoft OneDrive, Ubuntu.

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  1. JC
    June 3, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I would really like to try this tool, but I don't need ALL my files to be synchronized to my PC, and doesn't seem to have an option to select which folders to sync

  2. Anonymous
    July 19, 2015 at 2:54 am

    I've written a simple java client for OneDrive which also runs on linux.
    Download from

  3. Enrico
    March 11, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I have office 365, i install onedrive-d without error , but when i try to authenticate on onedrive it says "That Microsft account doesn't exist." Last information: my account has domain of my company.
    Any ideas?

  4. neville_scollop
    February 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    this does not work so easily on Linux Mint; although based on ubuntu I had some issues to even get it to install and then i could not get it to start yet alone get the "onedrive prefs" command to work.
    I have mine on the desktop so I would type in "cd ~/Desktop" and press enter.
    Typed "chmod +x" (press enter).
    Then typed "../ inst", press enter, and the installer will run.

    After that I cannot get the konsole to do anything else, I type "onedrive prefs" command and the konsole tells me "command not found"

    Any ideas??

  5. Liam Gilmartin
    August 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    But when Microsoft decide to block Linux access at some random point in the future? Stick with Copy, its safer

  6. 5sauvignon
    July 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    You could try to use Grive for Google Drive. Download from

  7. Bártfay Meszike I
    July 13, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Me, too Linux I am useful, I like it! :)
    Right no problem ? :) :)

  8. david
    July 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Insync is a great google drive sync client for linux. Also has a headless server version

    • Manu Mateos
      December 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      And an expensive one. ;)

  9. Janna
    July 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I didnt know people still use Linux.

    • James V
      July 12, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Just a small circle of friends. 25 million or so. Join us!

    • Efjay
      September 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Duh? Of course nobody still uses Linux, just millions of users of a variety of distributions, untold millions of Android tablets and phones, Chrome OS machines, just about every webserver online, servers and desktops in quite a few organisations, almost every supercomputer in existence, most robots and almost every embedded device on the planet. No, no-one uses it at all, any more dumb statements?

  10. michel
    July 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Can you say anything about how this performs? I use OneDrive on Windows, and find it convenient, but also annoying. It's very, very slow to upload, and slows the whole system to a crawl even when it's just checking for any necessary updates. There's no way to configure when it does its chores, or anything else, really. So it interferes with my computing seemingly at random, and I sometimes have to kill it just to get back to work. Does this ubuntu utility do any better?