Roshan Book

My Tech Notebook

Installing GoogleCL in ubuntu and using it

Originally published at :


It’s always quite handy to use command-line tools rather than using GUI’s to get your things done more easily in Linux. Though this was introduced sometime back, most people don’t really see the potential that lies beneath this little piece of software officially provided by Google Inc. Basically, GoogleCL brings most of all the services provided by Google to the command-line. That means, it allows users to post, create, list or delete photos from an existing Picasa account, videos from a YouTube account, edit, list or upload documents from your Google Docs account, add, delete or list events from Google Calendar or post on your Blogger weblog.


When do we need it?

Well, all the command-line fans might use this almost all the time. But if you still prefer GUI’s this will come in handy in some situations. Let’s say if your computer is in a more resource consuming situation like rendering a 3D animation, and you want to upload some photos to your Picasa albums? As you have already experienced, it will be laggy to use a GUI. But now you don’t have worry as you can get it done by just using a single command!

How do we install it?

Using Ubuntu? That’s perfect! you can download the .deb file from Google’s Official GoogleCL Download Page and install it by double clicking it. If you are using another Linux variant just download the source and compile it by yourself from here

Let’s Get Started

  • As the first step open up a terminal by pressing Alt+F2 and typing in gnome-terminal
  • Then type google


Now let’s try to upload some photos to Picasa using GoogleCL.

Note: Before trying out make sure that you have a Picasa account! You’ll be asked to authenticate your session when you are running it for the first time.

Our situation is like this, we need to create a new Album called “TechHamlet Samples” and upload a picture located in Pictures folder. So the code goes like this.

picasa create --title "TechHamlet Samples" /home/drx/Pictures/*

Appending a “*” means that you are going to upload all the photos located in the folder you choose to upload photos from.

Uploading a Photo to PicasaUploading a Photo to Picasa

More over, you can delete,search,download,post,tag in your picasa account.

Google Docs

Want to get a list of all the documents stored in your Google Docs account? It’s pretty simple. Just run the following command,

docs list title,url-direct --delimiter ": " # list docs
Searching Google DocsSearching Google Docs

That’s not the end! You can upload,delete,edit your documents.


If you just look at the Official Manual (The link is at the end of the post) you’ll see there’s a bunch of functions that you can use with Youtube.

For the time being I’ll just focus on querying your youtube account for uploaded videos.

youtube list
Querying YoutubeQuerying Youtube

Pretty easy huh?

Google Calendar

Busy scheduling your appointments? No worries now. Let’s say if you want to add an appointment today at 3pm? Command goes like this,

calendar add "Optimize the databases today at 3pm"
Google CalendarGoogle Calendar

I’ll stop here because all these commands are a piece of cake! You can further experiment with Google services like Contacts, Blogger, Tasks, Gmail and so on. For your convenience here are useful links from which you can learn many commands of GoogleCL

Google Example Scripts

GoogleCL Manual

This project is still growing and they will add many features in the near future!


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