I know this isn’t particularly new, but seeing some news this morning about potentially more Google Apps coming to the Linux Desktop I thought I’d throw this together.
How to install Google Apps on your Ubuntu Desktop.
Currently the list of applications within the Google repository is Google Desktop and Picasa. We could be seeing some more soon, but we’ll have to wait and see on more details.
Set up the repository
You’ll want to add the following to your sources.list. This can be done graphically via the System > Admin > Software Sources menu, or via manually editing your /etc/apt/sources.list file.
deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb stable non-free
Once you’ve got that you’ll also need Googles package signing key. This can also be done via the GUI or the command line. Try this command to pull down the key file and then we’ll import it to the apt system:
wget -c https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub
If you still have the Software Sources window open switch tabs to Authentication and click Import Key File… Look for the file you just pulled down (probably in your home folder) and click OK.
Installing Google Desktop
We’re now ready to install the Google Desktop or Picasa tool. From the command line enter:
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install google-desktop-linux picasa
You can also install these via your favorite package manager front-end like Synaptic or Adept if you prefer. Simply search for the package name.
I should mention that just because these are available for Linux does not mean they are now Free Software or Open Source. They are to be considered non-free so the choice is yours. If you don’t like the non-free cooties on your system, don’t bother installing this.
If you do install the Google Desktop there are a few things that you might want to be aware of.
- ctrl-ctrl will open a desktop search applet allowing you to quick-search the web, your gmail or your desktop.
- you can set your preferences by right-clicking on the Google Desktop icon in your notification tray. This allows you to customize what is indexed and what is not.
More resources for configuring or installing the Google Desktop tools available here.