How To Access Your pCloud Drive On Linux

Value your privacy but need to get your data in the cloud? Check out pCloud! pCloud drive is a Dropbox-like Cloud storage service for Linux (and other operating systems) that puts privacy first and has impressive encryption technology, which is very welcome to the Linux community.

pCloud isn’t as well known as a lot of other services, and as a result, not many Linux users know how to get it going. That’s why in this guide we’ll go over how to access your pCloud drive on Linux.

Note: to use pCloud, you must be able to run BIN files with your user account.

Install pCloud

Getting the pCloud drive app on Linux is a little different than other cloud storage providers. Instead of getting a Debian package, Redhat RPM file, or a Tarball archive, you’re given a single binary file. This is good because it enables all Linux distributions to use it, though it means that nothing is actually installed. Instead, pCloud just runs as a file without installing.

To get pCloud, you first need to create a user account. Head over to the website and sign up. Note that pCloud has both premium and free storage. If you’d like more storage, upgrade your account to one of the premium options. Otherwise, create your free account and claim 10 GB free.

When your account is activated, find the download button and click it. Look for the Ubuntu logo and click it. This will bring you to the Linux download page. Select either 32-bit or 64-bit, then download the file. Then, open up a terminal window and use it to get pCloud setup.

As mentioned before, pCloud is a binary (aka BIN) file. On Linux, BIN files act similar to EXE files on Windows. To launch these files, you first need to update the permissions. Use the chmod command in the terminal to allow the pCloud BIN file to run as a program.

cd ~/Downloads
chmod +x pcloud

With the pCloud BIN file set to proper permissions, it’ll run. However, running this file in the ~/Downloads directory is a very bad idea, as users often delete files from here without thinking. Instead, use the mkdir command to create a special folder for pCloud.

mkdir -p ~/bin-files/

Move the pCloud binary from your ~/Downloads folder to the new bin-files directory in Home.

mv pcloud ~/bin-files/

From here, it’s safe to launch the pCloud app through a terminal, for setup purposes. Launch the app with the following command:

cd ~/bin-files/

./pcloud

Before pCloud starts, you will be prompted to log into your account. Enter your sign in details, or click the “Continue with Facebook” button to access the app. With a successful sign-in, the pCloud app will start up, create a new pCloud folder in ~/, and open it in your default file manager.

We can confirm the app works, but it’s not ready for use, as we need to create a new desktop shortcut.

To create a new desktop shortcut for pCloud, you first need to close the app. Quickly quit pCloud by clicking “exit” on the icon to close it. Then return to the terminal window and use the touch command to make a new pCloud shortcut file.

touch ~/Desktop/pcloud.desktop

Using touch creates a blank shortcut. Next, it’s time to edit the shortcut with Nano.

Note: when running pCloud, it may create its own shortcut. However, this shortcut doesn’t always work so we recommend making your own instead.

nano ~/Desktop/pcloud.desktop

Inside the Nano text editor, paste the following code. Be sure to change “username” to your PC’s username.

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Name=pCloud
Exec=/home/username/bin-files/pcloud
Icon=/home/username/bin-files/pcloud-icon.png
Terminal=false
Categories=Network;System;
StartupNotify=false

Save the editor by pressing the Ctrl + O keyboard combo, and exit with Ctrl + X. Then, use the wget download tool to get the icon for your shortcut.

cd ~/bin-files/

wget https://i.imgur.com/8Ti5LJg.png -O pcloud-icon.png

With the icon file downloaded, update the permissions of the shortcut.

sudo chmod +x ~/Desktop/pcloud.desktop

After running chmod, pCloud will run directly from the desktop. Run it by double-clicking on the shortcut.

Install Shortcut

The pCloud desktop shortcut is ready and works but it’s not showing up in the application launcher menu. To solve this problem, you need to manually copy the shortcut to /usr/share/applications. In the terminal, run the following command to copy the pCloud shortcut from ~/Desktop to the app directory.

sudo cp ~/Desktop/pcloud.desktop /usr/share/applications/

If the cp command is successful, pCloud should show up in your application menu like any other application.

Using pCloud Drive

Using pCloud on Linux works much like other cloud storage syncing tools (Dropbox, etc) on Linux. To upload files to your account, open up the file manager. Select the “pCloud” folder and open it. In this folder, place any documents, image files, audio files, video files inside. As you place the files in this directory, the pCloud app running in the background will automatically upload them to your account online.

Need to delete a file? Delete it from the ~/pCloud folder and it will de-sync from the cloud.

Read How To Access Your pCloud Drive On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Secure Cloud Data On Linux With Cryptomator

Online storage services (aka cloud drives) are necessary for anyone who needs data to be accessible anywhere and everywhere, a reliable backup, or to send or save files easily. These services are easy to use, fast and work on most platforms. However, for as neat and convenient as they may be, they come at the price of privacy. Not many cloud services provide encryption which is why it’s up to users to secure cloud data before they upload it.

If you’re a Linux user and you regularly rely on cloud storage services but grow weary of large corporations searching through your files, consider trying out Cryptomator It’s a tool that acts as a go-between for your data in the cloud, to increase privacy. Cryptomator works by encrypting files before they upload, and decrypting them as they download to ensure ultimate privacy.

Note: this tool isn’t just for Linux users. They also have apps for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Learn more here!

Install Cryptomator

Ubuntu

Installing Cryptomator for the Ubuntu desktop involves activating a third-party PPA. Using a PPA for software such as this is a good thing, as it allows for constant updates directly from the developer. To add the official PPA, open up a terminal window and enter the command below.

The official Cryptomator PPA has support for Ubuntu version 15.04+, as well as operating systems based on Ubuntu like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, KDE Neon, etc.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sebastian-stenzel/cryptomator

The Cryptomator official PPA is in Ubuntu. However, no software can install it just yet. First, you’ll need to run the update and upgrade commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y

When updating finishes up, it’s time to install the software on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install cryptomator

Debian

Need Cryptomator for Debian? If so, you’ll need to download the stand-alone Debian package file instead of activating a third-party software source. Going this route on Debian isn’t that big of a deal. However, updates won’t be automatic, and you’ll need to re-download the Cryptomator Debian package file for each new version.

Go to the official website and click download under the Debian section. Choose your version of Debian (32-bit or 64-bit). Once downloaded, open the terminal and use the CD command to move to ~/Downloads.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside the Downloads folder, use the dpkg package tool to install the latest version of Cryptomater.

sudo dpkg -i cryptomator-*-amd64.deb

or

sudo dpkg -i cryptomator-*-i386.deb

As the package installs, you may run into dependency issues and errors. No, Debian isn’t broke. The package just wasn’t able to automatically install all the required dependency files. Instead, you’ll need to do it manually.

sudo apt install -f

After install -f finishes up, Cryptomater should be ready to use on Debian!

Arch Linux

Cryptomator doesn’t have an official Arch Linux package ready for installation. Instead, the official download page asks Arch users to install the program on their PC via the AUR. To do this, you’ll first need to sync the latest version of the Git package to your computer using Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

Next, using Git, grab the latest version of the Cryptomator pkgbuild from the Arch AUR.

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

CD into the newly cloned cryptomator directory to start the building process.

cd cryptomator

Inside the sources folder, use makepkg to call the PKGBUILD file you’ve just downloaded. Doing this is usually automatic. All required dependencies and libraries are installed, and the package builds. However, sometimes things can go wrong, or dependencies aren’t installed correctly. If you run into any of these issues, you’ll need to fix it manually. Visit the official Cryptomator AUR page for more information and guidance.

makepkg -si

Fedora And OpenSUSE

Both Fedora and OpenSUSE enjoy support for this program via a downloadable RPM file. To start off, go to the Redhat download page here. Select the “RPM” option to start the download.

Once downloaded, open up a terminal do the following:

cd ~/Downloads

Fedora

sudo dnf install cryptomator-*-amd64.rpm

or

sudo dnf install cryptomator-1.3.2-i386.rpm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install cryptomator-*-amd64.rpm

or

sudo zypper install cryptomator-1.3.2-i386.rpm

Other Linuxes Via JAR

If your Linux distribution isn’t on the Download page for Cryptomator, there’s still a way to run it. Start off by installing the latest Java Runtime Environment for your Linux operating system. Not sure how? Refer to your distribution’s entry on Java Runtime. Alternatively, check the official Oracle page on it.

With Java working, go to the Java JAR download page for Cryptomator and download it. Then, open up a terminal and launch the jar with:

cd ~/Downloads

java -jar Cryptomator-SNAPSHOT-*.jar

Set Up Cryptomator

Using Cryptomator starts by creating a new “vault.” Open the app and click the + icon in the bottom left to build a new encrypted vault for your data. Navigate to the root Dropbox, MEGA or NextCloud directory inside of your home folder.

Inside the root cloud directory, write the name of the new vault in the save box and click “save” to create the vault.

After creating the new vault, go back to the Cryptomator window and enter a secure password for the newly created cloud vault.

Unlock the new vault by inputting the new password. Entering the passcode will mount the data vault and decrypt it.

Once the vault is open, place all of the data you’d like to store inside it. When done, click the “lock vault” button.

With the Cryptomator vault locked, the process is complete, and there’s nothing left to do. The cloud syncing application will sync your vault right up to the service fully encrypted!

Read How To Secure Cloud Data On Linux With Cryptomator by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter