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Google provides some pretty cheap online storage. My organization is interested in using this to host backups of some of our data on the Google Cloud. We may just want to use this as an offsite backup, in case our onsite backups catch on fire.

The files are mostly images & video, most under the 1G limit.

Is there a way to batch upload files to Google Docs?

Are there any extensions which will let me browse Google Apps as a local folder, similar to WebDav?

And to clarify, we'd prefer to do this from a Linux (Ubuntu) server.

Summary:

Yes, this is possible. However, my question was too vague. Google Apps has different components. "Google Apps" and "Picasa" are both Google Apps, but they behave differently. For example, Google Docs uses the Google Documents List Data API , Picasa does not. Sadly, many projects at Google seem like little Fiefdoms, and APIs are not consistent across the kingdom.

The solution also depends on the filetype and if you use the Google Premier edition of Google Apps or not. According to the Documents List Data API FAQ Google Apps Premier customers can use the API to upload files of any type. Other users can use the following upload formats: (See the link for a list, which includes things like .csv , .pdf, etc.)

There are several great solutions below, but all have their limitations, or have themselves run into limitations with the Google APIs.

Thank you everyone for your responses.

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+1 for the first bounty . There should be a badge for that :D –  phwd Jul 2 '10 at 22:47
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You are looking for software to install locally? ==> Super User. –  fretje Jul 3 '10 at 10:52
    
@Fretje : It doesn't necessarily have to be installed locally. I'm mostly looking for something which will allow me to upload hundreds of files from my local computer (e.g. A batch uploader), and I think that would be a local piece of software. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 6 '10 at 0:45
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My guess is that the reason the storage is cheap is that most people don't use the full amount of storage. Having a tool which made it easy to automatically upload would probably be a disadvantage to Google in that case, so they probably don't provide one. –  delete Jul 6 '10 at 4:30

16 Answers 16

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Much has changed since I posted this question in 2010. Now of course, the proper answer to this question is Google Drive for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone and ChromeOS devices. However Google Drive doesn't exist for Linux platforms, but there are a few projects attempting to do that.

Overview of Google Drive

Google Drive lets you store and access your files anywhere -- on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go. Here’s how it works:

Go to Google Drive on the web at drive.google.com. Install Google Drive on your computer or mobile device. Throw your files in Google Drive. It’s right there on your device. Now your files go everywhere you do. Change a file on the web, on your computer, or on your mobile device and it updates on every device where you’ve installed Google Drive. Share, collaborate, or work alone: your files, your choice.

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You mean we couldn't do this at 2010? –  Pacerier May 29 at 16:56
    
No, Google Drive didn't exist back then. –  Stefan Lasiewski May 29 at 17:33
    
Ok, am I right to say that this whole thread is useless now? –  Pacerier May 29 at 17:56

May be you are talking about Google Storage.

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Possibly. I received my Google Storage developers account a few weeks back, and I'm trying to find time to check it out. –  Stefan Lasiewski Oct 6 '10 at 23:14
    
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  Dez Oct 19 '12 at 14:36

See Link to article showing you how to sync google-docs with local file system in ubuntu

Synchronize Google Docs in Ubuntu with Super Flexible File Synchronizer

Are you subscribed to Google Docs Online? Do you want to synchronize your Google Docs in Ubuntu? If you do, then you’re in luck, because Super Flexible File Synchronizer lets you do just that.

SFFS works in Windows, Mac and now Linux (Ubuntu). It simple GUI helps you synchronize and backup your Google Docs using ZIP compression and data encryption. In this brief tutorial, I’ll show you how to download and configure Super Flexible File Synchronizer in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) so that your documents, whether online at Google Docs or on your location computer, can be in synced. When you’re don’t, all changes made online at GDocs will apply to Ubuntu and changes made in Ubuntu will apply at Google Docs.

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Insinq

I honestly don't know how I went so long without finding this. It autosyncs everything you drop into an insync folder on your computer the same way that dropbox does except...

There are a few key differences:

  • It supports multiple accounts out of the box
  • It uses Google Docs as it's cloud storage (Dropbox uses Amazon S3)
  • It's free
  • It's build specifically to be used with Google Docs
  • It's cheaper (per/GB GDocs costs 12.5% of what Dropbox charges to increase space)

Here's the cost breakdown:

Google's storage tiers:

20GB at $5/year
80GB at $20/year
200GB at $50/year
400GB at $100/year
up to 16TB

Dropbox's storage tiers:

50GB at $100/year
100GB at $200/year

Source: The InSync Blog

The only downside I have found so far is that the desktop client doesn't support Linux yet...

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and... if you delete a folder on your desktop, it doesn't delete all the files within that collection online. –  Evan Plaice Feb 7 '12 at 9:02

I believe the way to achieve closest to what you are looking for from your question would be to use the newly released Memeo Connect.

With the first version of Connect, users get a way to easily upload documents of different formats into Docs, then access those documents on their desktop computer, including when they’re offline. If a document is edited, the content is updated across the user’s computers and in Docs.

Version 2.0 of Memeo Connect, which is available in a test version today, takes things a step further. Now Connect can really integrate with your computer’s file system, rather than just working as a standalone app. After you install and launch Connect, your files show up as the “GDrive” on your computer, and you can interact as if it were just an extension of your desktop. You can drag-and-drop files into the drive, and save files to the GDrive directly from applications like Microsoft Word.

Check out some information on this VentureBeat article, or visit Memeo directly.

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Check out GoogleCL. It lets you interact with google services from the command line like:

$ google docs upload the_bobs.csv ~/work/docs_to_share/*

The most recent release says it includes uploading directory trees to Docs. A little bit of shell scripting should let you cron job a backup.

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Wow! That looks great. Looks like I cannot upload .jpg .gif .gz or .zip files due to this bug, or due to a limitation of the Google API. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 8 '10 at 4:17
    
It looks like this would work for Google Apps Premier customers, but not for those of us who use the Standard Edition. See code.google.com/apis/documents/… –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 8 '10 at 21:31
    
Correction! It depends a bit on the file type. I can upload documents to Google Docs, and images to Picasa. Overall, this is a great tool! –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 8 '10 at 22:10
    
More discussion on how GoogleCL handles these file types at groups.google.com/group/googlecl-discuss/browse_thread/thread/… . –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 14 '10 at 19:15

It would seem that Google's Storage API, positioned right in Amazon S3's market, is geared to be their bulk cloud storage option. Though they do have the gsutil you mentioned earlier, the online Storage Manager works really well as a drag and drop interface for uploading/organizing files and managing "buckets".

alt text

They also claim that because of their RESTful API, it's compatible with existing cloud tools:

Google Storage is interoperable with a large number of cloud storage tools and libraries that work with services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Eucalyptus Systems, Inc.

I haven't had a chance to test that yet.

You are permitted to create buckets (and cannot nest them) but you can name your objects inside of them with / to emulate your local storage:

By using slashes in an object name, you can make objects appear as though they're stored in a hierarchical structure. For example, you could name one object /europe/france/paris.jpg and another object /europe/france/cannes.jpg.

Google has planned pricing at

Storage—$0.17/gigabyte/month

plus other bandwidth costs.

Marked community wiki, since it's somewhat tangential, speculative, and not available yet.

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Funny, I think they just added a folders option and you can nest those. You can drag and drop a bunch of files and it will upload them sequentially, but you can't drop a folder into it (yet). –  hyperslug Jul 8 '10 at 23:48
    
Also, there is no filetype restriction, and AFAIK, no file size limit b/c you're paying for it. –  hyperslug Jul 9 '10 at 4:00

This is a relatively new feature, but you can upload any document to Google Apps. Check it out at http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=50092.

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I've used Gladinet for this and it works great. They also support many other cloud based storage (Amazon S3) if you want. It lets you map a drive to your Google Storage.

They don't support anything but Windows however but you can setup a windows machine as a cloud AFS and backup Linux machines that way.

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The Google Apps storage is designed for storing pictures, email attachments and online documents. While there is an API for automating the upload of documents it only accepts specific MIME types unless you are a Google Apps Premier customer. That means you would have to embed your data in a document or spreadsheet file before uploading it.

Instead of Google Apps you should look at online storage providers like Dropbox or Amazon S3. Google also has a labs project for their own online storage service, which is free during the beta and has a python based command line tool called GSUtil for uploading files.

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The Google Storage and GSUtil projects look interesting, and one of the best options presented so far. I tried GSUtil, but it appears that I need a Google Storage developer account first. I'm now on the waiting list for a Google Storage account, but who knows when that will happen. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jul 7 '10 at 4:19
    
S3 has lots of integration options too, so if you get tried of waiting I suggest looking for a client app for S3. You'll have to pay $0.15/GB per month for it, but we use it for backups and end up spending about 3 or 4 bucks a month for small scale backups. –  Greg Bray Jul 7 '10 at 4:29
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+1 for Dropbox. 2 GB free space, syncs everything you put in the dropbox folder automatically without any user intervention and I can verify that it works in Linux Mint (which is based on the Ubuntu core). –  Evan Plaice Jul 7 '10 at 21:05

A tool called "Google Docs Upload" may do the job:

I've had limited success with this tool. Unfortunately, it doesn't support image files yet, although that is now allowed by Google.

  • Ubuntu 10.04 : This works with the default 'java-common' package.
  • MacOSX 10.5.8: It requires Java1.6, and the Java1.6 package in MacPorts is broken for me. I haven't gotten this to work successfully yet.
  • WindowsXP SP3: It seems to work fine, but then I need to use the Windows command shell, or create a batch file.
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You can use smestorage which gives a virtual cloud drive for Linux and it comes as a Debian package. They are currently in beta and are planning for desktop syncs soon.

Memeo Connect has been the craze for Mac and PC users (robust searching as it uses Google's API) maybe they will come out with a linux version ? This is only for GoogleApps Premier users only though. Keep an eye on them.

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If you're going to be doing this on a Linux server you could try GMailFS which uses FUSE to mount your google mail (which should also work with google apps) storage over IMAP as a local file system.

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Is that kind of thing allowed under Gmail's terms and conditions? –  delete Jul 8 '10 at 1:22

There's a firefox extension which allows you to use space on Google like a HDD, called GSpace.

While this won't solve your batch uploading problem, it might solve your browsing problem. Additionally, you might be able to use the existing code in the plugin and extend it to make it able to batch upload.

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You can't do it directly with Google Docs but you can use GMail as an Online Hard Drive with Gmail Drive.

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Thanks for that. I neglected to mention that we probably want to use this from a Linux server. I updated my post. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jun 30 '10 at 23:50

I don't know if there are any tools for this, but the Google Docs API might allow you to programmatically manipulate uploaded files.

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-1, this isn't stackoverflow.com –  fmark Jul 7 '10 at 9:30
    
@fmark - borderline. –  NTulip Jul 7 '10 at 20:53

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