Imagine having your Microsoft OneDrive mounted like any other part of your Linux file system. With
onedriver you’re not reduced to using OneDrive in your browser. Here’s how to set it up.
Microsoft OneDrive and onedriver
Microsoft’s OneDrive comes in several flavors. There’s a free-to-use version for home and personal use which gives you 5GB of cloud storage. You can buy more storage if you need to. OneDrive for Business can be purchased as a subscription or is included in other subscriptions such as the Microsoft 365 range of services.
Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive share a common drawback. Neither one has a native Linux client. To address that shortfall, configuring the details of your Google account in GNOME’s Online Accounts settings allows the file browser to directly access your Google Drive, which is very useful.
onedriver application provides the same type of easy access to your Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage. Your OneDrive will appear in the locations sidebar of the file browser, and as a regular directory in the terminal window.
An important point to note is that
onedriver isn’t a file sync tool, it provides working access directly to your OneDrive files. Create a file locally on your Linux computer and it’ll appear in your OneDrive. Take a photo with OneDrive on your smartphone and it’ll be accessible on your Linux machine. That might sound like syncing, but it isn’t quite.
The difference becomes apparent when you open and work on files. Because
onedriver isn’t a sync tool, there’s no lengthy sync process to complete before you can use your files. Your files are accessible immediately. Files are only downloaded when you access them. If the file has been modified in OneDrive since you last used it locally, it is downloaded again.
Changes that you make to existing files—and new files that you create—are reflected in your OneDrive. However, if the same file has been modified on your local computer and in OneDrive, the next time you use that file locally the modified copy from OneDrive will not be downloaded. This prevents local changes from being lost. The two sets of changes won’t be merged.
Because of this,
onedriver is best suited for use with private, unshared OneDrive accounts where you’ll be the only person editing your documents.
On Manjaro, you can install
onedriver from the Arch User Repository (AUR). To do that you’ll need to install a suitable tool.
yay works well. If you don’t have
yay installed you can install it with:
sudo pacman -Sy yay
You can then use
yay to install
onedriver . Note that you don’t use
On Fedora, we install
onedriver from COPR, the Cool Other Package Repo. To enable the COPR repository type:
sudo dnf copr enable jstaf/onedriver
And to install
dnf as usual:
sudo dnf install onedriver
Ubuntu users have a little more work to do. Enabling the repository in the normal fashion didn’t work for us, but these steps did. We were using Ubuntu 21.04.
In your web browser, navigate to the package details page of the
Click on the arrowhead icon beside the package name. A list of files appears.
Click on, and download, the appropriate “.deb” file for your architecture. That’ll be AMD for regular desktops and ARM for “System on a Chip” devices such as a RaspberryPi.
Locate your downloaded file. If you’ve chosen the default download location, it’ll be in your “Downloads” directory.
Double-click on the “.deb” file to start the installation. The Ubuntu Software application launches and describes the package.
Click the green “Install” button to install
onedriver on your computer.
On all distributions, you’ll find
onedriver in your application launcher, sporting a familiar icon.
onedriver is easy. We need to create a mount point to mount your OneDrive storage on, and we need to enter the credentials for your OneDrive account.
To create the mount point, we simply create a directory. Here, we’re creating one called “onedrive” in our home directory.
onedriver in your application launcher and launch it. When you first start
onedrive you’re met with a slightly underwhelming blank application window. Click the “+” button to add your OneDrive storage.
A file selection window allows you to select the mount point you wish to use. Highlight the directory you created and click the green “Select” button.
You’re prompted for your OneDrive account ID. Enter it and click the blue “Next” button.
If your email address is used with more than one Microsoft account, you’ll be asked to indicate which account type you’re going to link to.
Click “Work or school account” or “Personal account”.
You’re prompted for the password for the account you clicked on. Enter the password then click the blue “Sign In” button.
Microsoft then points out that the app will have access to your OneDrive files. Click the blue “Accept” button to indicate that you understand.
Depending on what security settings you’ve used with OneDrive, you may need to accept a notification sent to your smartphone.
And now, we have something in the
onedriver application window.
The new OneDrive account is listed, along with its mount point (~/onedrive). If you have multiple OneDrive storage accounts you can add several or all of them, as long as they are mounted on different mount points.
Alongside each OneDrive entry are three buttons.
- Slider button: This mounts or unmounts your OneDrive account.
- Tick button: Selecting this will automatically remount your OneDrive when your computer boots.
- Trash can: This deletes your OneDrive account from
Your file browser will have a new location in its sidebar.
The directory you’re using as a mount point will have a OneDrive logo badge on it.
Entering that directory by double-clicking its icon, clicking on the location in the sidebar, or changing to that directory in a terminal window will let you access your OneDrive storage.
There’s already a file called “Doc1.docx” in my OneDrive cloud storage. We’ll create another file called “Doc2.docx” and another called “How-To Geek.docx.”
I opened the OneDrive app on my smartphone and took a photograph. After that, my
onedriver directory looked like this.
The new files are present, and the uploaded photograph is available too.
These files were all accessible through the OneDrive app on my smartphone.
Opening one of the files shows the editing that was done on the Linux computer.
Simple is Best
onedriver your OneDrive remote storage behaves exactly like a part of your local file system. Using it feels perfectly natural and there are no special steps to interfere with your concentration. It’s just like using any other directory.
If you have OneDrive cloud storage that is languishing unused because of the lack of a Linux client, you owe it to yourself to try