How to mount Google Drive in KDE’s Dolphin file manager, in Debian 10 and 11

Note: This tutorial is based on Debian 10 and 11. It may or may not work in other environments.

Update 2021-04-11: Debian 11 (contains KDE Plasma 5.20.5) is already out. I just confirmed that the method presented here still works. The dialogs just look slightly different than in Debian 10. This does not warrant a new blog post, so I will simply update the current one.

While not a filesystem mount via the Linux kernel (such as I just described in a previous blog post), KIO GDrive (part of KDE) still enables KIO-aware applications (such as the Dolphin file manager, Kate editor, or Gwenview image viewer, etc.) to access, navigate, and edit Google Drive files.

kio-gdrive is available as a package in several Linux distributions. If installed, the Dolphin file manager will get an entry “Google Drive” under “Network”. There, an unprivileged desktop user can ‘mount’ a Google Drive account via a guided graphical configuration (during which the default browser will be opened where one needs to give KDE KAccounts permission to access the GoogleDrive account).

This method doesn’t provide access to Google Drive via a terminal; it integrates it nicely with a graphical desktop. The best part is that you don’t have to be root/superuser in order to do this, nor do you have to use the command line or write configuration files!

The following steps will walk you through the entire process.

Install the kio-gdrive Debian package. After installation, the Dolphin file manager immediately gets an entry called “Google Drive” under “Network”.

Screenshot from Debian 11

On Debian 11, click on “Google Drive”. On Debian 10, additionally click on “New account” under “Google Drive”:

A dialog window opens. It looks a bit differently in Debian 10 and 11. Click on the “+” button, and then on “Google”.

Screenshot from Debian 10
Screenshot from Debian 11
Screenshot from Debian 11

In a small web-frame dialog, Google will now ask you to give access to the KDE application. It again looks a bit differently in Debian 10 and 11.

Screenshot from Debian 10
Screenshot from Debian 11 (My Google account is set to German)
Screenshot from Debian 10

Once you give permission, you will see a confirmation dialog:

Exit this dialog and you will be able to browse your files!

29 thoughts on “How to mount Google Drive in KDE’s Dolphin file manager, in Debian 10 and 11”

  1. Awesome! Works perfectly! Thank you. Left Windows behind for Chrome OS with Linux Shell, then got hooked on Linux, set up a new Laptop with KDE neon 5.16.2—so customized– its a tricked out ride. The integration is phenomenal, thanks to people like you!

  2. Works great with no pain. But backups of i.e. smartphones are stored in a hidden directory. How can I show these hidden directories?

  3. Followed the instruction for Dolphin and kio-gdrive but clicking on +CREATE does nothing. There are no options shown to the right of +Create on the config window. What is missing?

    I am running Debian Linux with Gnome.

      1. For me this still doesn’t work, provider installed, still can’t add account.

  4. doesn’t work for me under arch linux it says its temporarily blocked or something. Is this a recent occurrence? I know this is a problem for kmail so I’m not sure what the deal is here.

    1. Same here, Debian 10, KDE. Says the KDE developers need to work on Google compatibility or some such guff. Frustrating.

  5. Thank’s for the article. Btw, I guess you need to blur your email on the web authentication picture

  6. April 2020 Kubuntu 18.04 It doesn’t work as you say for me. When I select the Google account I get a small window to sign in with a note to ‘continue to KDE online accounts’ and it doesn’t like my google login. – It did eventually, but now: “Sign in with Google temporarily disabled for this app

    This app has not yet been verified by Google in order to use Google Sign in.”

    Have to find out how to do that.

      1. Sorry, no. It does not work for me.
        $ uname -a
        Linux myhost 5.4.0-37-generic #41-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jun 3 18:57:02 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    1. the following worked for me:

      $sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alessandro-strada/ppa
      $sudo apt-get update
      $sudo apt-get install google-drive-ocamlfuse


      $mkdir -p ~/GoogleDrive

      $google-drive-ocamlfuse ~/GoogleDrive

      $ls ~/GoogleDrive

      $crontab -e
      @reboot /usr/bin/google-drive-ocamlfuse /home/YOUR_USER/GoogleDrive

  7. Where are the configs stored?
    I need to reset because it’s no more working.

    1. How did you get past the web authentication window – mine just sits there forever.

  8. Hallo Michael,
    ich komme bis zum Google Anmeldefenster, aber danach passiert nichts mehr, wenn ich auf “Weiter” klicke. Ich benutze “MX-19.4_KDE_x64 patito feo November 11 2020” und das Paket kio-gdrive habe ich installiert.
    Hast du noch einen Tipp / Idee?

  9. Hallo nochmals, ich habe das Problem mit dem obigen Tipp von antiriadsays gelöst. Bei MX gibt es das entsprechende Paket “google-drive-ocamlfuse” sogar in den MX-Test-Repositories, also ohne dass man ein fremdes PPA installieren muss.

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