Best Free Cloud Services For Linux

A couple of years back, Copy was the best cloud storage for Linux. It gave over 300 Gb storage and came with native apps for desktop platforms including Linux and mobile platforms as iOS and Android. But unfortunately Copy has been discontinued and it forced me to look elsewhere as a viable cloud software for Linux.

Best Cloud storage services for Linux

Now, what do you want in a cloud storage services as a Linux storage? Let me guess:

  • Lots of free storage. After all, not all individuals can pay hefty amounts every month.
  • Native Linux client. So that you can synchronize files easily with the server without doing special tweaking or running scripts at regular intervals.
  • Desktop clients for other desktop OSes i.e. Windows and OS X. Portability is a necessity and syncing files between devices is such a good relief.
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS. In today’s modern world, you need to be connected to all the devices.

Let’s see what are the best cloud services for Linux that fit most of the above-mentionedcriteria.

1. Dropbox

There is simply no denying that Dropbox rules the cloud storage world. One of the first few cloud storage service provider, Dropbox has kept innovating and introducing new features to become one of the best cloud services out there. A sleek web interface and an excellent desktop client make it the best choice for Linux users.

Pros

  • 2GB of free storage
  • Excellent desktop client for Linux and other platforms
  • Link sharing
  • Collaboration
  • Files can be viewed in the web interface itself
  • Selective sync to save space on desktop
  • Version control

Cons

  • Only 2GB of free storage is a downside
  • Soon Dropbox will only support Ext4 filesystem on Linux

2. pCloud

pCloud is a European offering from Switzerland. Switzerland was once famous for strict banking laws hiding money securely from prying eyes. Switzerland today is also famous for its strict privacy policies guarding the data of the individuals from snooping agencies.

Plenty of privacy-focused services like ProtonMail are based in Switzerland. It is focused on encryption and security.

pCloud offers 10 GB of free storage for each signup. You can further increase it up to 20 GB by inviting friends, sharing links on social media etc.

It has all the standard features of a cloud service such as file sharing and synchronization, selective syncing etc. On top of that, pCloud provides file versioning, data recovery up to 30 days. You  can also use pCloud as an external (virtual) hard drive.

pCloud also has native clients across platforms, including Linux of course. Linux client is easy to use and worked well in my limited testing on Linux Mint 17.3.

Pros

  • 10 GB of free storage, extendable up to 20 GB
  • A good working Linux client with GUI
  • Allows collaboration by link sharing
  • 30 Days backup for deleted files
  • Unlimited file size upload
  • Built-in audio and video player
  • Mobile apps allow camera roll upload
  • Backups from Dropbox, Google Drive etc
  • 5 copies of files on different servers

Cons

  • Client side encryption is a premium feature

3. Google Drive

Another good cloud storage is Google Drive. It gives you 15GB of free storage that is shared with your email. Google Drive is closely integrated with Google Docs, an online office product that you can use in your web browser. I think this is the best alternative to Dropbox.

Though Google Drive doesn’t have an official Linux client, there are other ways to use Google Drive in Linux. That’s the reason why I included Google Drive in this list of cloud software for Linux.

Pros

  • 15Gb of free storage
  • Link sharing
  • Collaboration
  • Integrated with online office suite

Cons

  • No official desktop client for Linux

4. Mega

If you are a regular It’s FOSS reader, you might have come across my earlier article about Mega on Linux. This cloud service was started by Kim Dotcom but he is no longer associated with it.

Mega has everything that you would expect in a hassle-free cloud service. It provides 50 GB of free storage to individual users. Provide native clients for Linux and other platforms and also has the end to end encryption. The native Linux client works fine and the sync across the device is seamless. You can also view and access your files in a web browser.

Pros

  • 50 GB of free storage
  • End to end encryption
  • Native clients for Linux and other platforms such as Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS

Cons

  • Owner and his online businesses are targeted by US authorities

5. Yandex Disk

Russian internet giant Yandex has everything that Google has. A search engine, analytics and webmaster tool, email, web browser and cloud storage service.

Yandex Disk offers 10 GB of free cloud storage on sign up. It has native clients for multiple platforms, including Linux. However, the official Linux client is only command line. You can get unofficial GUI client for Yandex disk though. File sharing via links is available as along with other standard cloud storage feature.

People who are already using Yandex services should give it a try.

Pros

  • 10 GB of free storage, extendable up to 20 GB via referrals
  • Mobile apps

Cons

  • Only command line client available
  • If you are averted to Russian technologies

6. Cozy

Cozy is a French company that gives you 5GB of free cloud storage. In fact, Cozy is more than just a free cloud service. It’s a digital locker for securely keeping your bank statements, bills and health reimbursement.

You are probably already saving your important documents, tax receipts, identity cards, warranty receipts in the cloud. You scan these documents manually and then upload them to a cloud service. Cozy does all this for you automatically.

If you are a French resident, Cozy could be a lifesaver for managing all your documents. Cozy has something called an ‘app store.’ You can connect your Cozy account to various services such as your bank, your internet service provider, your insurance providers and commercial stores like Darty, Leclerc, etc. You can also connect it with French income tax accounts.

Cozy fetches all the bills and invoices from the linked services and stores it in the cloud. You get all the documents in one place automatically.

You don’t have to use Cozy for this purpose only. You can happily use it for the free 5GB cloud storage without connecting any apps to it.

Pros

  • 10 GB of free storage
  • Native Linux client in AppImage format
  • Connects to various online services and automatically gets invoices and account statements
  • Cross platform with mobile apps

Cons

  • Could be confusing for a simple cloud service
  • At present, the focus seems to be on French market

7. Seafile

Seafile is a free and open source file hosting and collaboration platform. Apart from file hosting and sharing, you can also edit documents online. Seafile also keeps versions of files and snapshots of folders so that they can be restored to a previous version.

Since it’s a multi-user collaboration platform, you can also set file permissions or lock a file for specific users. Audit logs are also available. Admins can also remote wipe data. All data transfers are protected via HTTPS/TLS protocol. Server-side data encryption is also a feature.

Seafile has the free edition that allows 3 users. If you need more than 3 users, you can either host it on your own server or pay for the services.

Pros

  • Free and Open Source Software
  • Native Linux client and mobile apps
  • File versioning
  • Document editing and collaboration

Cons

  • Primarily aimed at enterprises

8. Nextcloud (self hosted)

Nextcloud is a free and open source cloud storage and collaboration platform that you can install on your own server.

Nextcloud is a complete document management platform for small and medium sized businesses. Apart from the cloud storage, you can also use Nextcloud for mails, contacts, calendars for users in your organization.

That’s not it. Nextcloud also has tools for chat, calls and web meetings. It’s a complete productivity suite that can be hosted on the servers of your organization.

Pros

  • Free and Open Source software
  • Complete control on your data
  • A complete productivity suite
  • Useful for small and midsize organizations as well as individuals

Cons

  • Not a managed cloud service
  • You’ll need your own server and manage it manually

9. Hubic [Discontinued for new users]

Hubic is a cloud service from French company OVH. Hubic also offers 25 GB of free cloud storage at sign up. You can further extend it to 50GB (for free users) by referring it to friends.

Hubic has a Linux client which is in beta (for over two years now). Hubic has an official Linux client but it is limited to command line. I did not go on to test the mobile versions.

Hubic boasts of some nice features though. Apart from simple to use interface, file sharing etc, it has a Backup feature where you can archive your important files regularly.

Pros

  • 25 GB of free storage, extendable up to 50 GB
  • Available on multiple platforms
  • Backup feature

Cons

  • Linux client in beta, only available in command line

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