Mounting Cloud Storage on Linux

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Mounting Cloud Storage on Linux

Mounting or Google Drive storage as a disk or file system is not available on CSEE/UMBC maintained machines. These steps are provided for those who run their own Linux systems.

The only way to access files on UMBC/CSEE maintained systems is by uploading/downloading files using a Web Browser to access their respective sites:

Google Drive

GNOME 3 is required to access Google Drive as a remote disk on Linux--this will not work from a CSEE maintained Linux system.

Open the GNOME Control Center (or “Settings”) application. If a desktop environment other than GNOME 3 is being used, install gnome-control-center and then run it from the command line.

Click “Online Accounts”, click the plus symbol (if the plus symbol is dimmed, click the button "Add an online account"), and add your Google account. If this control is not available, install the gnome-online-accounts package.

Enter your UMBC username and password and accept/allow GNOME to access your Google data. A copy of your credentials will be stored in the GNOME keyring.

The Google Drive will be accessible from Nautilus, the GNOME3 file manager. The drive name will be your UMBC email address. If the Google Drive isn't showing up, check to make sure that the gvfs-goa package is installed.

When you are finished accessing your Google Drive, eject the volume from a Nautilus window. Then, open GNOME Control Center, click Google, and click the minus symbol.

Due to the way this works, it is NOT recommended to perform these steps since it disables the default security that campus places on accounts.

Add external password to Box

This steps adds a new authentication method to a account. UMBC may no longer be able to track if this account gets compromised. It is NOT recommended to make this change.

Before you connect, you must create an external password through the Box web interface.

  1. Open an internet browser and log on to
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner. In the drop down, click on “Account Settings”
  3. The bottom section bubble should say “Create External Password.” Click “Edit password”
  4. Create an external password.

Note: This password must be different from your email password


This is the simplest method and supports full synchronization of your box account.

  1. Open Files program (nautilus if launching from command line)
  2. Click on "Other Locations" in the left pane
  3. In the bottom right where it says connect to server type
    and click connect
  4. enter your and your box password

Using FTPS client

If you are familiar with using the ftp command-line program and do not wish to use GNOME, you may prefer this method.

Run lftp

Run the following command

 $ lftp
 lftp :~> set ftps:initial-prot ""
 lftp :~> set ftp:ssl-force true
 lftp :~> set ftp:ssl-protect-data true
 lftp :~> open ftps://
 lftp :~> user
 lftp> ls

Using WebDAV (DEPRECATED 1/31/2019)

This service will only work to access data from a personal computer--this will not work on CSEE maintained Linux computers. Due to the way this works, it is NOT recommended to perform these steps since it disables the default security that campus places on accounts.

Install davfs2 Package
Ubuntu, Debian, and Mint

To install davfs2 on Ubuntu, Debian or Mint:

$ sudo apt-get install davfs2
CentOS, RHEL or Fedora

To install davfs2 on CentOS, RHEL or Fedora:

$ sudo yum install davfs2
Disable file locks

The WebDAV share exported by does not support file locks. Thus you need to disable file locks in the davfs2 configuration file located at /etc/davfs2/davfs2.conf. Otherwise, you will encounter "Input/output error" while attempting to create a file.

$ sudo vi /etc/davfs2/davfs2.conf
use_locks      	0
Create a mount point
mkdir ~/

replace "~/" with your preferred mount point

Add yourself to usergroup

This step is only needed if you want to mount as a non-root user.

$ sudo usermod -a -G davfs2 USERNAME

where "USERNAME" is your username

Edit fstab

Add the following to /etc/fstab. The "user" option allows you to mount as an unprivileged non-root user. /home/user/ davfs rw,user,noauto 0 0

Replace "/home/user/" with your own mount point.

Run mount

The final step is to run mount.

$ mount

replacing "" with the mount point used in the fstab

When finished with access

The file system needs to be unmounted when you are done with it

$ umount

replacing "" with the mount point used in the fstab