OneDrive (Backup & Sync) workaround for Linux

As a developer, we all love keeping our files onto the cloud securely so that we can have access to them anytime, anywhere. What better service to do that than Microsoft OneDrive? Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its web version of Office. The official OneDrive client is available for Windows only. And, that ain’t fair.

Why should we be using the blue screen of death in the first place to access all our files or folders. We can take the browser route as well, but no one like to sign in and out each time they want to access to their files. What if I told you that you can use OneDrive natively in your Linux machine, without the need of any client or 3rd party software.

Exciting, isn’t it?

This article talks about setting up your Microsoft OneDrive account on your Linux system. This workaround has been tested on some flavors of Debian, Ubuntu and more. The steps given below are for Ubuntu 18.04 and precisely been tested Kali Linux, Arch, and Pop!_OS and will work faultlessly on most of the distros that would have Gnome installed. For everyone else, we will be starting off by installing Gnome first into our machine.

Follow these steps:

1. Installing Gnome Control Center

If not already installed, you can get Gnome Control Center installed in your system by using this command,

$ sudo apt install gnome-control-center

Installing GNOME control center

If you have it installed already, move on to step 2

2. Opening Gnome Control Center

Power on your machine,  And goto the top right corner on your desktop where you’ll find the settings section. 

Alternatively, type gnome-control-center on your terminal.

Opening settings from top right corner.

3. Online Accounts

 Open Settings and go to the Online Accounts section.

Online Accounts that can be linked to your remote system

4. Signing In

You’ll find different accounts and services you can log in to. Just click on Microsoft. You’ll be redirected to a sign-in dialogue box. I hope you haven’t forgotten your Microsoft account credentials. So without further ado fill the details they are asking for. Like, your email address with OneDrive linked to it and as usual the password you used for your drive. After pressing Sign-in a pop-up will appear requesting the permissions required by Gnome. 

Credentials requirement

5. Permissions

Allow whatever you wish you use and now you are good to go, my friend.

Permission required

Tada!! You have successfully mounted OneDrive to your remote system without using any third-party clients. 

To simply sync-up your OneDrive and use it seamlessly you can use this native hasslefree approach. Most of us will be super satisfied with the capabilities provided by this native OneDrive Sync up. With this process, I am able to use OneDrive for most of my work.

But If you are a pro user and want some plus features, feel free to check out some of the third parties clients listed below.

Few Third-Party Alternatives to use OneDrive: 

  1. Insync: Insync is one 3rd party client that we recommend which provides amazing features like cross-platform, selective syncing folder integration, file & folder sharing, etc here.
  2. ExpanDrive: ExpanDrive is a powerful OneDrive for Linux client that supports Ubuntu, Linux Mint, CentOS, Fedora, Redhat, and most popular distributions. It supports two-way sync via a mounted drive to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and Sharepoint by securely connecting to the Microsoft Graph API.
  3. Skillion: A complete tool to interact with OneDrive on Linux. Built following the UNIX philosophy. It is a free tool available to everyone.
Insync PRIME
  • – Cross-Platform
  • – File Manager Integration
    – Multiple Acc
    . Support
  • – Selective Sync 2.0
  • – Merge Sync
  • – Cloud Browser
  • – Sync external drives
  • – Docs Conversion
  • – Ignore Rules
  • – Lifetime support
Insync TEAMS
  • +
  • – Sync Shared Drives
  • – Sync SharePoint
  • – Sync network drives

And that’s it, amigos! All of it is compiled from several sources for you. So, that you can perfectly use your OneDrive account in your remote system. You can use it for syncing emails and documents directly from your OneDrive Account. Happy to help.


  1. Um, well great – ‘ta-da’ I have successfully mounted my OneDrive to my remote system…. Not sure what exactly was supposed to happen, but I did not see a flying unicorn swoop across the screen dropping my OneDrive files in pretty piles on my desktop. Nor did I see anything new in my Home or Documents locations, similar to what I see in Windows File Explorer for OneDrive. Care to take this one step further and explain how one is supposed to actually see and work with their OneDrive files after following your steps above?


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