Recently Canonical announced that it is shutting down the Ubuntu One service.

I'm looking for a cloud storage service/client pair that:

  • Has a Linux client (I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 if it matters).

  • Is free.

  • Service has online access to my files.

  • Service must provide at least 5 GB of free storage.

  • Bonus: Will run scheduled, automated, backups of my home folder and other folders I specify.

I'm interested in anything from a good Google Drive client to a whole new service. I also currently have OneDrive and Google Drive accounts.

  • Just a note: U1 was not meant as backup tool, but synchronization service. The "backup" aspect was a side effect of the way synchronizations were done (using a server to hold the files and sync them). You are asking for a tool that synchronize files and keep a backup somewhere off-site.
    – Braiam
    Apr 9, 2014 at 5:56
  • 1
    This isn't a particular recommendation but there is an ongoing discussion at http://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/what-are-your-plans-to-replace-ubuntu-one-and-why/1598 which mentions several alternatives. A few I had never even heard of which look very promising.
    – Dennis
    Apr 15, 2014 at 15:25
  • @Braiam hm, true. I need to edit the question.
    – Seth
    Apr 15, 2014 at 15:29
  • A lot of suggestions here on the Ubuntu Stack Exchange (aka Ask Ubuntu): backup - What are the alternatives to Ubuntu One? - Ask Ubuntu
    – nidunc
    Apr 25, 2014 at 8:28
  • After coming back to this question I have realized I didn't ask it very well, and missed my entire point of asking (see Braiam's comment). I'm thinking this is too close to the line of "services" (which are off-topic) to do any good. Therefor closing this and re-asking what I had originally intended.
    – Seth
    Sep 14, 2014 at 20:24

4 Answers 4


I'm pretty sure Copy meets all of your criteria:

  • Will run scheduled, automated, backups of my home folder and other folders I specify.

This one I'm not sure about. By default, the app creates a directory in your home folder and synchronizes it in near-realtime as changes are made. So you could obtain something similar to what you've described by having a cron job run locally on your computer and simply dump the files in the Copy directory.

  • Has a Linux client (I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 if it matters).

✓ Copy's desktop client is written in Qt and runs unmodified on Ubuntu.

  • Is free.
  • Service must provide at least 5 GB of free storage.

✓ Copy's free plan offers 15 GB of storage with the ability to earn more through a referral program.

  • Service has online access to my files.

✓ Copy provides access to your files through their website.

  • 1
    I do not recommend Copy for personal experience. Their server speed is awful, I get 12kb/s trying to download their app. When I wanted to remove my account, there were no option to do so! They also do bring any option to change the user email. Worst. Service. Ever.
    – Lucio
    May 2, 2014 at 0:15
  • 1
    @Lucio Seems like all of your points have been recently addressed.. there are now options to delete accounts, change user email address and the speed was quite quick from here..
    – msturdy
    Jul 9, 2014 at 23:04
  • NOTE: this answer is now historical as Copy's cloud storage service is being discontinued effective May 1, 2016. Mar 12, 2016 at 6:23

You may use Grive if you already have a Google Drive Account.

Setup Grive

  1. Open up Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T)
  2. Add Grive repo: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thefanclub/grive-tools. Hit Enter.
  3. Do a sudo apt-get update
  4. Install Grive with sudo apt-get install grive
  5. Although you want to backup entire home folder I recommend to backup your Documents folder because home folder contains many hidden user configuration files created by all programs that you use and would eat your online storage with no real usefulness. Anyway, it should work with any directory that you have write permissions for. I'll go with my setup: cd ~/Documents
  6. Start Grive: grive -a
  7. Open that URL in browser and allow grive to acces Google Drive.
  8. Paste the authentication code in terminal (right click and Paste; no Ctrl+V). It will start synchronizing. Let it finish. Congratulations! This is your first backup.

Now let's make it a scheduled action

  1. In Terminal: sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule
  2. Open it: gnome-schedule
  3. Click New dropdown arrow and select Recurrent task
  4. Make it look like this:

enter image description here

Note: the command is cd /home/<your_username>/Documents && grive or grive --path /home/<your_username>/Documents. Modify time and date as you like. First do not suppress output (Step 3), apply and test task from the main window. You should see Grive output. If it looks OK go back and edit task like in step 3.

enter image description here

You won't see it, you won't know about it, but weekly this task will be executed and your files will be synchronized. The drawback is that you can only select a folder to sync and you can't choose to sync it in a folder on Google Drive, it just uploads it in the root folder. Another disadvantage (maybe) is that it never deletes anything. If you delete something from computer and run Grive it will download that deleted file back to computer. If you delete something online, when you sync it is uploaded again from your computer.

Source: Regular backups using Grive on Ubuntu

  • 1
    Now that's some fancy stuff! I didn't mention it in the question (to make it simpler) but I only backup the main folders in my home for the reasons you specified ;)
    – Seth
    Apr 23, 2014 at 15:54

Adrive meets all your criteria, just not at the same time... See here for the free plan features.

  • It has a desktop client, which despite being done using Adobe air works pretty well under Linux, but is available only on the premium plan (something like 25$/year). I wouldn't have answered to this question if their web access was not of such quality that you can consider it a worthy desktop client.

  • It is free to some extend (50GB, see there for pricing)

  • It gives online access, permits editing (using Zoho) and sharing for your files.

  • Provides 50GB of free storage.

  • WebDAV and Rsync are supported by the premium plan, which should allow you to run scheduled, automated backups.

Interesting to note is that ADrive save your webfolder every Sunday for a week, a pretty useless function... until it allows you to recover some important file you overwrote locally.

  • Hm, that looks interesting. I'd rather not pay anything for a simple backup service... I'll look into it more though.
    – Seth
    Apr 25, 2014 at 2:10
  • I believe you always end up paying either for software, either for service. Except if promotional space is enough for you, you will have to hack or to pay.
    – VicAche
    Apr 27, 2014 at 15:13

I am using Spider Oak, which is a backup tool of selected folders with optional synchronization of particular folders between different devices. Additionally - a "SpiderOak Hive" (which is exactly what U1 is). The data are fully encrypted not only during transmission but also on the server.

  • 2
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    – ProgramFOX
    May 2, 2014 at 10:49

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