While Ubuntu One might seem like a Ubuntu-only file synchronization service, it’s more than that – you can use Ubuntu One on Windows, Android, iOS, and from the web. Ubuntu One offers 5GB of free storage space to everyone.
Ubuntu One includes features for sharing files or folders online, streaming music to your smartphone, synchronizing installed applications across all your devices, and more.
Sync Any Folder
By default, Ubuntu only synchronizes files inside the Ubuntu One folder in your home directory. However, you can right-click any folder, point to the Ubuntu One menu and select Synchronize This Folder to start synchronizing it, too. You can manage your synchronized folders from the Ubuntu One application.
Ubuntu One uses all available bandwidth for file uploads and downloads by default, but you can restrict its upload and download speeds if you’re on a slower connection. The bandwidth settings are located on the Settings pane in the Ubuntu One window.
Use Ubuntu One on Windows
Ubuntu One doesn’t just run on Linux – Ubuntu also offers a Windows client with full file synchronization support. Ubuntu One is a cross-platform file synchronization service – you can even use it if you’re a Windows user that’s never used Ubuntu.
Using the right-click menu in your file manager or the Ubuntu One website, you can share files and folders – publically on the Internet or privately with other Ubuntu One users. We’ve covered using Ubuntu One to share files in the past.
Synchronize Installed Software
Ubuntu One can sync the software you’ve installed from Ubuntu’s Software Center between your computers, so it’s easy to keep track of which software you have installed. We’ve covered syncing software with the Ubuntu Software Center in the past.
Use Mobile Apps
Ubuntu One offers apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. With the app, you can access your Ubuntu One files on the go from your mobile device.
Automatically Upload Photos From Your Smartphone
The mobile app also has the ability to automatically upload photos you take on your smartphone to your personal Ubuntu One cloud, allowing easy access to your photos on all your devices.
Mobile Music Streaming
Ubuntu One also offers a Ubuntu One Music app for Android and iOS. The app allows you to stream your music to your mobile device from wherever you are – you can also cache files on your device for offline listening. This feature costs $3.99 a month and includes 20GB of storage space – you can try it free for the first 30 days. It also works in concert with the Ubuntu One Music Store included with Ubuntu One’s Rhythmbox music player – any music you purchase is instantly delivered to your Ubuntu One account and available in the Ubuntu One Music app.
Ubuntu One can synchronize your contacts and store them online. Currently, you can import contacts from Facebook on the Ubuntu One website or add them manually. Previous versions of Ubuntu supported contacts sync with the Evolution email client, but contact sync with Thunderbird appears to be absent in Ubuntu 12.04.
Manage Files in Your Browser
If you don’t have Ubuntu One installed on your computer, you can access and manage your files from the Ubuntu One website. From your browser, you can download files, upload files, or manage your existing files.
From the Devices tab in the Ubuntu One window or the Devices page on the Ubuntu One website, you can manage the computers and other devices that are linked to your account.
Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.
- Published 07/9/12