Insync | Google Drive and OneDrive Sync Client on openSUSE

Insync is an application I have been using since about 2013 to make my Google Drive files available to me on my Linux Desktop. I have previously written about my Insync experience and continue to use Insync but recently, I received a question about installing Insync on openSUSE Leap and I realized that the documentation on the InsyncHQ site has some missing bits of information. I was unable to point the requestor a proper solution. So, here is my latest list of instructions on how to get going with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive sync on openSUSE.

It’s not free software, but there is a free trial to give you an opportunity to take this application for a spin.

Free Trial of Insync with affiliate Link

Installation

There are two ways I am going to cover here. One is the download and install method, what I have previously been using. The, the other and better method will be to configure the repositories so that updates are automatic. I highly recommend you choose the “configure the repositories” method for a better experience.

Download and Install

This is the method I have been using up until a few months ago. This is not the recommended method but it does work and is probably a bit easier to do. Navigate to this page and download the Fedora version. The version is dependent on which version of openSUSE you are running.

Leap

Download and install the Fedora 27 version.

Tumbleweed

Download and install the Fedora 30 version.

Navigate to whatever folder they were downloaded into and install it using the the service menu option. I HIGHLY recommend you use the YaST Software option. Sometimes Discover will likely fall on its face with the signature certificate. YaST Software has no issue with that.

Then you are complete, but you will have to do this manual installation with every new version, or, if you are like me and you don’t think about it you will go many, many, many versions before something breaks and you have to upgrade. The better solution is the next section.

Configure Repositories

This would be my preferred method of setting up Insync on my system. Sure, it does add a few seconds to the repository refresh time on the occasion but you will continue to have an up-to-date version of Insync. Unfortunately, no one has taken the time to show how to do this elsewhere so here is my set of directions that I have verified and use regularly. This will require you to use the terminal so open up that Konsole, Cool-Retro-Term or whatever application floats your terminal boat.

Leap

These are specific instructions for 15.2, I would do 15.3 but those repositories are not yet ready.

As per the instructions from the Insync site, you are recommended to import the public GPG key used to sign the RPMs.

sudo rpm --import https://d2t3ff60b2tol4.cloudfront.net/repomd.xml.key

Next add the repository and call it “Insync”

sudo zypper ar -f http://yum.insync.io/opensuse-leap/15.2/ Insync

The “-f” option enables auto refresh. This is not required, just recommended

Once the repository has been added, you will need to refresh the repositories.

sudo zypper refresh

Finally, install the application and optionally, the service menu of choice. In my case I installed the dolphin service menu addon but there are other file managers supported.

sudo zypper install insync

For more options, here is what YaST software shows me as available.

If, by any chance, you run another file manager besides Dolphin, take your pick and add that too.

Tumbleweed

I am not going to give the instructions with pictures with this step by step, its basically the same as above and my guess is, most Tumbleweed users don’t NEED pictures. šŸ˜

As per the instructions from the Insync site, you are recommended to import the public GPG key used to sign the RPMs.

sudo rpm --import https://d2t3ff60b2tol4.cloudfront.net/repomd.xml.key

Next add the repository and call it “Insync”

sudo zypper ar -f http://yum.insync.io/opensuse-tumbleweed/rolling/ Insync

Once the repository has been added, you will need to refresh the repositories.

sudo zypper refresh

Finally, install the application and optionally, the service menu of choice. In my case I installed the dolphin service menu addon but there are other file managers supported.

sudo zypper install insync

Like the suggestion in the Leap instructions, you can install a service menu entry with your file manager. I have chosen the insync-dolphin option but you can choose what suits your desktop best.

Complete

The installation is complete and now you can now begin syncing your files with Google or Microsoft, whatever you need to do to be more productive in your day-to-day Linux life.

Initial Run

When you initially run Insync, you are going to be presented with a nice Welcome screen that will guide you in the process of getting you started. It is so simple, this whole section just might be a waste of time. Perhaps this will just give you an idea of what is involved.

Since It is my Google Drive account that is most important to me at this time, that is where I started. Once you click on it, you will be directed to your browser to sign in with Google into Insync. This authenticates Insync to access your Google files.

You are then presented with a notification of what giving Insync access to your Google Account encompasses. Insync only has access to Google Drive files to See, edit, create and delete its contents… which makes perfect sense as why else would you want such a client on your computer.

Success is presented as a notice to close the page and buy a license if you have not done so already.

You will then be directed to continue to set up your account by selecting the base folder for synchronization to take place. I don’t like the defaults because an email address for a folder on my local machine just looks and feels wrong. I don’t have any good suggestions as I am currently not tickled with my choice in folder naming, now that they added OneDrive support… I’ll think about it… Whatever you do, choose wisely.

This is a fun section that is new to Insync, at least, new in the sense of, since I last paid attention. I don’t recall this feature but I do miss things. Nevertheless, this is a very cool feature in that you can set up rules to ignore based on the name of the file, folder or under any particular path. This may look a little intimidating, but the examples make it petty clear.

Depending on how you would like to interact with your documents, you can have Insync convert them based on three options of convenience. If you prefer to use the Google Suite for the bulk of your work and you like the cloud application thing, select the first option of “Do not convert Google format files”. If you prefer to use a local client like LibreOffice or Microsoft Office, chose the appropriate option there.

Although I haven’t fully tested this feature yet, the documents I have tested didn’t seem to be exactly correct in the conversion. More research is needed there so my recommendation, today, based on my experience is to not convert the documents. I may update this section in the future when I better understand how this is supposed to work.

When there are conflicts, you have some options as to how you would like the default behavior to be. I have chosen to “Always ask” because I feel as that is the safer option. I don’t know what the reasons are going to be every time so this seems like the most prudent choice.

Here you have the option to only select the files and folders you want to synchronize. You may want to just do a few folders or the whole thing, whatever works best for your case. After selecting the folder(s), press the green “Sync” button to proceed.

Then you are done. The selected files will synchronize, quite smartly, in the background and you can go on with your computing, sit back and enjoy the marvels of file synchronization.

Synchronization Feed

You may have the same insatiable need of knowing what your computer is doing all the time. Your file synchronization is likely something you want to know is progressing as expected and therefore you would like to see what it is doing and what it has completed. The “Feed” gives you an in credibly useful list of what Insync is doing. It will tell you what it has done, where and how long ago. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Memory Usage

The memory usage of Insync does appear to be more than it was a four years ago. In reviewing my last review of Insync from 2016, it looks as though the memory footprint has grown by over three times. Though I am keeping more files synchronized now and it may be taking advantage of the greater amounts of memory resources too. I can’t say for sure.

In comparison to Syncthing, Insync uses far less memory, it is just worth noting. It is also not an apples-to-apples comparison either. That would be wroth an investigation. That is another discussion for another time.

Assessment of Reliability

Over the years, I have been quite happy with Insync’s reliability. I have had a few instances of crashing but it is infrequent and seldom required major intervention on my part. The issues were generally fixed by updating the software and the problem went away. This is why I highly recommend using the method of installation that configures repositories with your system. There are risks, of course, in doing that but YaST Software does allow, very easily to switch to older versions if necessary.

The only annoying thing Insync has done was to create duplicate files with a (1) or (2) after the file name, depending on the number of duplicates. This does require me to go through and ensure that I have the newest file but ultimately, I prefer this method to just mistakenly copying over a file. Multiple clients digging into a single pot of files can get messy and I would rather lean to the side of “caution”.

Pricing and Value

This isn’t free software, but I will say this is vastly superior to the “free” Google Drive client as far as options and general usability. This is a nice, full featured client and I think it is worth the investment for two reasons, one, it supports further development on Linux, two, I don’t trust “free” closed source software from large corporations that mine your data (I realize the conflict here). I am personally using the Personal version that is a one time payment of $39.99. I think this is very reasonable price for a lifetime license of a Google Drive client, built for Linux.

https://www.insynchq.com/pricing

Final Thoughts

I have been using Insync on Linux for eight years and I am still very pleased with its performance and feature set. Insync seem to continue to reliably chug away in the background of multiple machines, seemingly without any issue. I happily upgraded my “plan” with Insync to get support for OneDrive along with my Google Drive account. I realize this is not free and open source software, but neither are the services of Google or Microsoft. For those that are stuck having to continue to use Google Drive, at least in part, it is more enjoyable to have the client on your computer and some integration to allow for more efficient work loads. Those that can do without these services and use only free and open source solutions. this is likely not to be of any interest at all.

I do hope that Insync sticks around for many years. They make a great product that is easy to use, enjoyable with which to interact and friendly to system resources. I am grateful for the community members that reached out to me to ask me about Insync for openSUSE that forced me to revisit this subject. I just hope now that this will be of some help to someone else.

References

Free Trial of Insync with affiliate Link
Get openSUSE
Insync, the Google Drive client for Linux 2016 CubicleNate article
openSUSE YaST Software

8 thoughts on “Insync | Google Drive and OneDrive Sync Client on openSUSE

  1. Oh wow, a sync solution for OneDrive/GDrive that actually syncs and not only mounts the cloud storage and doesn’t work when offline. I prefer FOSS but this may be the killer feature. That’s probably the first time I ever found sponsored content useful.

    1. Well… it wasn’t exactly sponsored but I did sign up to be an affiliate. I have been using it regularly for years but the OneDrive is a somewhat recent addition. I’d say, within the last few years. I only looked into it last year.

  2. Thanks for the useful suggestion. I was looking for a way to do this. This makes my life much easier

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