Monday, July 23, 2012

Grive -- a Google Drive client for Linux

I've been watching the Free / Open-Source Software (FOSS) project Grive for a few months now and it has me pretty excited.

Grive is a client for Google Drive that runs on Linux.  It allows you to synchronize files on a Linux system with a Google Drive account.  More information on Grive is available at:

What interests me the most about Grive is the potential for using it to backup a directory on a Linux system off-site.  The execution of Grive can be made automatic so that as files are changed in a directory tree, those changes are mirrored out to Google Drive.  The reverse is also true.

I see this having a very interesting use-case for making off-site backups.  For example, suppose I'm supporting a Linux server which has a directory that is made available to a group of users via Samba or NFS.  I can use Grive to automagically back those files up to a Google Drive account with very little additional configuration or overhead.  

Moreover, I can re-share the backup structure as a view-only resource to my users.  I can even access those very files using a mobile application from my smartphone.  

I'm most excited about creating a "Grive Server" which shares a directory tree out over NFS to other UNIX systems (such as OpenBSD servers); those servers can then use cronjobs to copy (and encrypt) important files to the NFS share which is then backed up off-site to Google Drive.  This gives me a very reasonably priced cloud-based off-site backup solution, even when using a network with mixed operating systems.

Creating an effective, off-site backup solution can be as simple as having Grive installed on a Linux server.  Other than Grive, there are no clients to install, no additional training needed, and minimal (if any -- Google Drive offers 5gb of storage for free with each and every Google Drive account) cash outlay required.

Keep an eye on Grive, the Free / Open-Source Software (FOSS) Google Drive client for Linux:

http://www.lbreda.com/grive/

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Wes Dean, a Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist and a Google Apps Trusted Tester, is Principal of KDA Web Technologies, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller.  To learn how Wes and KDA Web Technologies can help you, go to http://www.kdaweb.com/.