OneDrive for Linux

As I mentioned a while ago, I replaced my desktop/home server this past summer.  In the process, I switched from my old setup of Ubuntu running Trinity Desktop to plain-old Ubuntu MATE, so I've been getting used to some new software anyway.  As part of this process, I figured it was time to take another look for OneDrive clients for Linux.

See, I actually kind of like OneDrive.  I have an Office 365 subscription, which means I get 1TB of OneDrive storage included, so I might as well use it.  I also happen to like the web interface and photo-syncing aspects of it pretty well.

However, I'm slightly paranoid and generally distrustful of cloud service providers, so I like to have local copies and offline backups of my files.  This is a problem for me, because my primary Windows machine is a laptop, and I don't want to pay the premium to put a multi-terabyte drive in my laptop just so I can sync my entire OneDrive, and scheduled backups to a USB disk are awkward for a laptop that's not plugged in most of the time.  Now, I do have a multi-terabyte drive connected to my Linux desktop, but for a long time there were no good OneDrive sync clients for Linux.  In the past, I had worked around this by using one-off sync tools like Unison (which...mostly worked most of the time) or by setting up an ownCloud sync on top of the OneDrive sync (which worked but was kind of janky).  However, but those depended on syncing from my Windows laptop, which was OK when I had 20 or 30 gigabytes of data in OneDrive, but at this point I'm well over 100GB.  Most of that is archival data like family photos and just eats up too much space on a 500GB SSD.

Enter InSync.  InSync is a third-party file sync tool that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and supports OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.  It has all the bells and whistles you'd expect, including file manager integrations, exclusions, directory selection, and other cool stuff.  But what I care about is the basics - two-way syncing.  And it does that really well.  In fact, it totally solves my problem right out of the box.  No more janky hacks - I can just connect it to my OneDrive account and it syncs things to my Linux box.

The only down-side to InSync is that it's proprietary (which I don't mind) and the licensing is confusing.  The up side is that it's not actually that expensive - currently, the pricing page lists licenses at $30 USD per cloud account.  So if you only want to sync OneDrive, it's $30 and you're done.  However, there's also an optional support contract and there's some difference between "legacy" licenses (which I think is what I have) and their new subscription model.  Frankly, I don't fully understand the difference, but as long as it syncs my OneDrive and doesn't cost too much, I don't really care.  

So if you're a OneDrive user and a Linux user, InSync is definitely worth a try.  I don't know about the other platforms or services (I assume they're all similar), but OneDrive on Linux works great.

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