How to get Google Photos on Linux

Google has an excellent online photo service. It is unrivaled, and nobody in the tech world offers up something quite as easy to use, or as packed with features. Unfortunately, the Photos tool doesn’t have a native desktop application for Linux users, which means if you want to use Google Photos on Linux to manage your photos, you’ll have to deal with opening up a web browser.

If you’re sick of having to open up the browser to upload a photo or two, this guide is for you. Follow along to learn how to set up Google Photos on the Linux desktop.

Note: to use Google Photos with Imagenes or Nativefier; you’ll need to have a Google account. If you do not already have one, click here to create one.

Method 1 – Imagenes

Imagenes is one of the best ways to get easy access to Google Photos on Linux. To get access to the Imagenes application, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open, you’ll need to follow our guide on how to enable Snap packages on your Linux PC. As of now, Snaps are supported on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Gentoo, and other distributions.

Note: not running a Linux distribution that has support for Snap packages? Consider installing Ubuntu. It has Snap support out of the box, and there’s no need to configure it!

With the Snap runtime up and running, you’ll be able to install the Imagenes application from the Snap store with the snap install command below.

sudo snap install imagenes

Let the app download and install. Once it’s done installing through the store, open up your app menu, and launch the application. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions to get set up with Google Photos.

Step 1: Load up Imagenes, look for the blue “Go to Google Photos” button and click on it to access the login page for Google.

Step 2:  Fill out your Google account name, and password into the box so that you can log in to Google Photos in Imagenes.

Step 3: Once logged in, you’ll see your pictures accessible in the Imagenes application. Click “albums” to access your picture albums, or use the search box to find a particular photograph.

To upload photos to Imagenes, launch the Linux file manager, find a picture, and drag it directly into the app window. Or, hold Ctrl down, and select multiple with the mouse if you’d like to upload a few at a time.

Method 2 – Nativefier

Imagenes is a nifty application to install if you’re not interested in building your own Photos app. However, it hasn’t been updated in quite a while, so the UI needs work. Another way to make Photos accessible on the Linux desktop is to create your own with Nativefier.

The Nativefier application can package nearly any website as an electron app. However, you’ll need to install it first, before attempting to use it. To get the latest version of Nativefier, head over to our guide on how to use Nativefier. When done, open up a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions to build your own Google Photos app for Linux.

Step 1: Using the CD command, move into the temporary directory.

cd /tmp

Step 2: In the temporary folder, use the mkdir command to create a new build directory for Nativefier to work in.

mkdir -p gphotos-linux-build-dir

Step 3: Move into the new build folder with CD.

cd gphotos-linux-build-dir

Step 4: Using the wget download app, grab the Google Photos icon from Wikimedia.

wget https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Google_Photos_icon.svg/1024px-Google_Photos_icon.svg.png -O icon.png

Step 5: Run the Nativfier command to generate a new Linux Electron binary. Keep in mind that when the app is building, it may fail. If it does, re-run the command.

nativefier -p linux -a x64 -i icon.png --disable-context-menu --disable-dev-tools --single-instance https://www.photos.google.com

Step 6: Rename the Google Photos build directory from “google-photos-all-your-photos-organized-and-easy-to-find-linux-x64 ” to “google-photos”.

mv google-photos-all-your-photos-organized-and-easy-to-find-linux-x64 google-photos

Step 7: Place the newly built app into the “opt” directory on your Linux PC.

sudo mv /tmp/gphotos-linux-build-dir/google-photos /opt

Step 8: Rename the Google Photos binary file from “google-photos-all-your-photos-organized-and-easy-to-find” to “google-photos” with the mv command.

sudo mv /opt/google-photos/google-photos-all-your-photos-organized-and-easy-to-find /opt/google-photos/google-photos

Step 9: Update the permissions of the app, so that users on your Linux PC have access to it.

sudo chmod 755 -R /opt/google-photos/

Step 10: Create a new desktop shortcut icon file.

sudo touch /usr/share/applications/google-photos.desktop

Step 11: Open up the new desktop shortcut file in the Nano text editor.

sudo nano -w /usr/share/applications/google-photos.desktop

Step 12: Paste the code below into the Nano text editor.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment[en_US]= Access Google Photos on Linux.
Comment=
Exec=/opt/google-photos/google-photos
GenericName[en_US]=Google Photos desktop app.
GenericName=Google Photos
Icon=/opt/google-photos/resources/app/icon.png
MimeType=
Name[en_US]=Google Photos
Name=Google Photos
NoDisplay=false
Path=
Categories=Graphics
StartupNotify=true
Terminal=false
TerminalOptions=
Type=Application

Step 13: Save the edits to the file in Nano by pressing Ctrl + O. Exit with Ctrl + X.

Step 14: Update the permissions of the shortcut using chmod.

sudo chmod +x /usr/share/applications/google-photos.desktop

Step 15: Open your app menu, search for “Google Photos” and launch it. Then, sign in with your Google Photos account.

Once you’ve signed in to Google Photos in the app, you’ll be able to access your pictures by clicking “photos,” albums by clicking “albums,” or upload new things by clicking the “upload” button.

Read How to get Google Photos on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Google Cloud SDK on Linux

Google Cloud SDK is a pack of command-line tools that users can install to interact with the Google Cloud Platform directly. The software works on most Linux operating systems, provided that the Linux system has access to Python2. In this tutorial, we’ll go over all of the ways you can get Google Cloud SDK on Linux.

Arch Linux instructions

Arch Linux doesn’t officially carry the Google Cloud SDK in their package repositories. Instead, if you’d like to get the SDK up and running on your Arch-based PC for development, you’ll have to resort to using the Arch Linux User Repository instead.

Interacting with the AUR on Arch Linux requires installing some packages. These packages are Git (for downloading packages from the internet) and Base-devel (needed to compile programs from source, install AUR programs, etc.) Getting these packages working on Arch is simple. To do it, open up a terminal window using Ctrl + Shift + T or Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Then, use the Pacman package manager to load everything up.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the successful installation of the Git and Base-devel packages, it’s time to download the Trizen package build from the AUR. Without Trizen, installing the Cloud SDK is very tedious, and you’ll have to install dependencies by hand. Using the git clone command, download the latest release of Trizen.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Use the CD command and move the terminal session into the newly created “trizen” directory.

cd trizen

Inside of the “Trizen” directory, run the makepkg command to generate and install Trizen onto Arch Linux.

makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen AUR package installer to load up Google Cloud SDK on Arch Linux quickly.

trizen -S google-cloud-sdk

Once set up, access the SDK with:

gcloud init

Are you having trouble using the AUR release of Google Cloud SDK on your Arch Linux computer? Feel free to try out the Snap version of the software instead. It’s officially updated and handled by Google, so it’s sure to contain fewer bugs and problems than an unofficial AUR build!

Snap package instructions

Google has uploaded the Cloud SDK toolkit to the Ubuntu Snap store for easy installation. So, if you have to have the latest Google Cloud tools for your projects, but don’t want to deal with downloading everything, and dealing with the setup process on Linux, this is the way to go.

Using Snap packages on Linux is supported by most modern Linux operating systems, like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Gentoo, and others. However, a lot of the distributions that support Snaps don’t do so out of the box, so before attempting to get the Cloud SDK Snap installed, you must enable the Snap runtime on your Linux system.

Enabling the Snap runtime on Linux is quite easy. To do it, open up a terminal window, install the “snapd” package, and enable “snapd.socket” with systemctl as root.

Note: unsure about how to set up the Snap runtime on your Linux system? We can help! Check out this in-depth article all about how to set up Snapd on Linux. Alternatively, try installing Ubuntu Linux, as it has Snaps enabled out of the box!

Once the Snap runtime is up and running on the system, use the snap install command to install the latest Google Cloud SDK.

sudo snap install google-cloud-sdk --channel=stable/latest --classic

Access the SDK with:

gcloud init

Be sure to run snap refresh if you need to update the SDK.

Generic Linux instructions

Aside from being available on the Arch Linux AUR and as a Snap package, Google Cloud SDK can be quickly installed to any Linux system by downloading a Tar archive directly from Google’s quickstart page.

There are two versions of the Cloud SDK available for download on Linux: the 32-bit version and the 64-bit version. To start the installation, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Shift + T or Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Then, use the curl command to get the latest release.

Note: you may need to install the Curl app before using it to download with the command below.

64-bit

curl -O https://dl.google.com/dl/cloudsdk/channels/rapid/downloads/google-cloud-sdk-251.0.0-linux-x86_64.tar.gz

32-bit

curl -O https://dl.google.com/dl/cloudsdk/channels/rapid/downloads/google-cloud-sdk-251.0.0-linux-x86.tar.gz

After the Google Cloud SDK TarGZ file is done downloading to your Linux system, use the tar command to extract the contents of the archive.

tar zxvf google-cloud-sdk-251.0.0-linux-x86_64.tar.gz

Or

tar zxvf google-cloud-sdk-251.0.0-linux-x86.tar.gz

Running the extraction command should create a new folder in your home directory (~) labeled “google-cloud-sdk.” Using the CD command, move into that directory and start up the installation script.

cd google-cloud-sdk

./google-cloud-sdk/install.sh

The installation script is quick and will get the SDK set up thoroughly on your Linux system. When it’s done, access it with:

gcloud init

Read How to install Google Cloud SDK on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to automatically delete Google account data

Google is rather omnipresent; it owns the most popular search engine, it owns the most popular web browser (Chrome), it owns the most popular email service (Gmail), it owns the most popular video sharing website (YouTube), and then there’s Google Maps. Between these services, Google has a lot of your data; where you go, what you search for, what you watch, and who you talk to. It keeps all your data until you delete it but as of a recent change, you can automatically delete Google account data after 3 or 18 months. Here’s how.

Automatically delete Google account data

This feature is available for both Google and G Suite accounts.

Visit this link in your preferred browser. Sign in to your Google account if you aren’t already signed in. This will take you to the Activity Controls page. Click the Manage Activity option.

On the next screen, look for and click Web & App activity. Under it, you will see that your web and app activity is being tracked and by default it is set to save until you delete it yourself. Under this option, you will see a new one called “Choose to delete automatically”. Click it.

You will see a pop up that gives you two options for automatically deleting your data. The options are for deleting data after 18 months, and after 3 months. Those are the only two options there are. Select one to automatically delete Google data.

It seems Google would like to keep your data for at least 3 months. The data is needed to suggest content, among other things. You do have the option to delete it manually and if you want, you can do it everyday. It’s tedious to say the least but if you don’t want any of the data to stay with Google too long, this is your only option.

You can do this in your browser, or from the Google app on your Android. Go to the Settings screen and look under Privacy. For some reason, this same feature isn’t available on the Google for iOS app. It will likely roll out to the app but it will take quite a while.

If you don’t see this option under your Google Web & App activity section, give it a few days, or weeks. Google announced this feature on May 1, 2019 and some users were able to use it right away. For others, the feature is still rolling out.

Read How to automatically delete Google account data by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Check If Your Android Phone Is Google Certified

Android OS is developed by Google and a good chunk of features and services that run on Android are powered by Google apps. The Google Play Store is where most Android users download apps from and it has its own set of problems with fake and counterfeit apps. For years, Android has had to struggle with a reputation of being prone to spam and security problems. To combat this, Google has outlined certain requirements that devices must meet in order to run Android. If a device doesn’t meet these requirements, the Android that runs on them comes with restrictions. If you’re in the market for a new Android device, you might want to check if  your Android Phone is Google certified or not.

Google Certified Android Phone

It’s ridiculously easy to check if your Android phone is Google Certified. Google has published an exhaustive list of devices that are certified and you can download it. The file can be downloaded in both PDF and CSV format. Google provides instructions on how to use the file.

The devices are listed first by manufacturer name, and the manufacturer’s are listed in alphabetical order. Each device is listed under its manufacturer’s name. If you’re not sure what your device name is, you can use the search feature in your browser, or in Google Sheets, or your preferred PDF viewer to search for the manufacturer name.

If you know what your device’s name is, you can search for it instead of the manufacturer name. If the device is listed, you have a Google certified Android phone.

Uncertified Devices

A while back, we did a post on fixing the ‘Device is not certified by Google’ error on Android device. This error is just one example of the restrictions that come with owning and using an uncertified Android device. You might run into other problems particularly with other Google services.

An uncertified device won’t suffer in terms of hardware. If the device is running the hardware it claims it, it ought to work fine. Problems only arise when it comes to using Google powered services like the Google Play Store or Google Assistant. If you plan on using services like Google Pay, you should get a device that is certified by Google. A certified device is the best way to go. It will be more secure, and in the long run, you’ll be able to avoid unforeseen problems that might arise when using a service that requires a certified device.

Read How To Check If Your Android Phone Is Google Certified by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter