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