Linux compatible online storage (reviews)

Discussion in 'Linux, BSD and Other OS's' started by megamaced, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. megamaced

    megamaced Geek Geek Geek!

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    Recently I decided to check out what Web 2.0 services are available for Linux. Part of this investigation included free online storage. Now I wasn't just looking for any free online storage, but specifically a service that offered an official Linux client that could sync folders and offer easy access to data no matter which OS I was using. I have found two possible solutions so far, both of which offer their own advantages.

    The first, and more conventional solution is SpiderOak. They offer 2GB of free online storage and a Linux client which you can use to upload files and synchronize any changes. The Linux client is available as a Debian package only and will work for Debian based and Ubuntu based systems only. I downloaded the package and installed it on Ubuntu 8.04.1 with no problems whatsoever. Launching the application from the Internet menu brings up a wizard where you can create an account and choose which folders you would like to store online.

    The application is great. It automatically detects the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folder in your home folder and allows you to select which folders or files you would like to sync. All uploads are encrypted and the speed is adequate.

    SpiderOak is the first and only free online storage solution that I have found that offers a Linux client. It's very slick and I'd recommend it to anyone.

    The second online storage solution I have found is Thinkfree Office 3. This service is different to SpiderOak because the free online storage is connected to an office suite, which offers Write, Calc and Show. A Notes application is also in the works. ThinkFree Office is predominatley a free online Java application that mimics an office suite. You can save files online using the 1GB of free space they allocate. ThinkFree Office also offer a free Office suite which you can download and install. However they only offer the suite as an .sh install, so there is no native DEB or RPM. I found their .sh installer to be gruesome and their use of application shortcuts horrendous. However after deleting the accessive use of shortcuts in /usr/share/applications/ I was back in business. Oh well apart from the fact that the installed start-up script (which you can view in System > Preferences > Sessions) doesn't actually work! But aside from the installation issues, the suite itself is pretty good. I test it by opening some Microsoft Word documents and ThinkFree Office 3 did a much better job at preserving format than OpenOffice 2.4.1. I also tested the new docx format and again ThinkFree Office did a much better job than OpenOffice.

    You will also notice ThinkFree Office 3 Manager in the Office menu. This application allows you to choose your Documents folder and any other folder you want to synchronize with the web. The interface is slick and easy to use and I'd recommend it to anyone.
    My only criticism of ThinkFree Office is the horrendous installation program, as mentioned before, and the bizarre location of certain files. Should ThinkFree provide a DEB installation and resolve their bizarre installation then I would recommend it no questions asked.
  2. sabashuali

    sabashuali Ani Ma'amin

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    Sounds neat but with flash drives becoming so cheap aren't you better off to back up to a flash drive? I mean, on-line you are at the mercy of the provider.
    For less than £20 you can back up twice or four times that at you own convenience and control.... or have I completely missed the point? :doh:
  3. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    Well, true, but a secondary backup doesn't hurt. Having two separate backups fail is possible, but highly unlikely. You're probably not anywhere near the provider's server in the first place, and flashdrives aren't volatile like RAM and aren't as prone to issues from shock (i.e. dropping) like a hard drive.

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