Ubuntu One is cloud storage that integrates perfectly into your Ubuntu desktop. Both the cloud storage and the desktop client were created and are maintained by Canonical. Canonical also runs the Ubuntu One service. Users sign up for an account and may then sync files between their computer and a server on the Internet. From there, files may be accessed by other computers with an Ubuntu One client installed, via a Web browser or using a paid mobile phone service.
What Can I Do with Ubuntu One?
Ubuntu One works as a remote folder into which you can place files and other folders. That is convenient and useful because these may then be easily accessed from other systems. However, other cloud storage services have this functionality, so it is not what makes Ubuntu One unique.
In addition to files, you can set Ubuntu One to synchronize your contacts, notes made with Tomboy, and your Firefox bookmarks. Not only that, but your Ubuntu One account can be used via Banshee Music Player and other Linux media players like Rhythmbox to purchase and legally download music from well-known artists and groups. When you purchase music, it is automatically placed in your Ubuntu One account, so it may then be accessed from any location. Ubuntu One Mobile allows you to stream this music to your Android or iOS4 phone.
How Much Does Ubuntu One Cost?
Profits from paid Ubuntu One options go back to Canonical, which supports Ubuntu development and pays many of the developers who make Ubuntu.
How Do I Begin?
To begin, click the Ubuntu One icon in the Launcher. This opens the Ubuntu One Control Panel, as shown in Figure 9-16. This is the starting point for most of what is discussed in this chapter.
Figure 9-16. Launching Ubuntu One from the Ubuntu Unity Launcher
If you do not have an account and want to sign up, click Join Now to sign up for an account. Account options include:
- Ubuntu One Basic (Free). This provides 2GB of storage to sync files, contacts, bookmarks, and notes between an unlimited number of computers and the cloud; Web access; and the ability to use the Ubuntu One Music Store. This account is free.
- Ubuntu One additional storage. Additional storage may be purchased in 20GB chunks.
- Ubuntu One Mobile. This option gives the ability to stream all stored music from your Ubuntu One cloud to your Android phone or iPhone and to sync your contacts with an Android phone, iPhone, Blackberry, and others.
Additional storage and Ubuntu One Mobile are modular; neither requires the presence or absence of anything other than a basic account.
The remainder of this chapter assumes you have created an Ubuntu One account and signed in to your account via the Ubuntu One Control Center. Once you sign in, the Ubuntu One Control Center will reveal new options, as in Figure 9-17.
Figure 9-17. Ubuntu One Welcome Screen. When you are logged in, Ubuntu One Control Panel helps you manage your account and Ubuntu One use.
The top of the Ubuntu One Control Center displays a bar that shows your current use compared to your total available space and tells you if File Sync is disconnected, in progress, or up-to-date.
Below the storage meter are four tabs that reveal different options. Click Account to see and edit your account details. Click Cloud Folders to select folders from your personal cloud that you want synchronized to the device you are using. Click Devices to manage devices that are connected to your Ubuntu One cloud and their settings. Click Services to manage synchronization for specific data types and services like files, contacts, and bookmarks. Additional software packages may be needed to provide some of these services. If so, Ubuntu One will inform you, and installation of necessary packages requires only the click of a button and entering your user account password (not your Ubuntu One account, but your user account, because permission to install software must be established and authorized with a password).
Click the File Manager icon from the Launcher. An Ubuntu One folder has been created for you in your /home directory. Place any file or folder that you want to store in your Ubuntu One cloud storage into this folder, and it will automatically be synchronized between your device, the cloud, and from there any other devices you have connected to your Ubuntu One account.
From any other location in File Manager, you can right-click on a file or folder to reveal a pop-up menu. Hover over Ubuntu One in this menu to reveal a submenu that allows you to share, synchronize, publish, and more using Ubuntu One. If you want to stop synchronizing a shared file, right-click and select Stop Synchronizing on Ubuntu One.
You can also upload, access, and manage your files from the Web interface.
Enable the Contacts service from the Services tab in the Ubuntu One Control Panel.
Click Applications in the Launcher and find Evolution Mail and Calendar. Once open, click the Contacts button at the lower left. Click to select your Personal Address Book from the list on the left. Open the Actions menu at the top and select Copy All Contacts To... from the list of options. Select Ubuntu One and click OK. From this moment, all your contacts in Evolution will be synchronized with your Ubuntu One cloud as well as to any other devices connected to the same account.
To make the Ubuntu One synced address book the default address book in Evolution, again click the Contacts button at the lower left of Evolution Mail and Calendar. Click to select the Ubuntu One address book from the list on the left. Open the Actions menu at the top and select Address Book Properties. In the window that pops up, mark the checkbox next to Mark as Default Address Book and click OK.
You can also create, view, edit, and delete contacts from the Web interface.
Enable the Bookmarks service from the Services tab in the Ubuntu One Control Panel.
Click Firefox Web Browser from the Launcher to browse the Web. All bookmarks in Firefox will be synchronized with your Ubuntu One cloud storage and from there to any other Ubuntu device running Firefox and attached to your account.
Special Features of Ubuntu One Mobile
Ubuntu One already allows you to synchronize all your music, including files purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store and others that you upload, to the cloud and to all other devices running Ubuntu and attached to your account. For a monthly fee, you can stream your music to your Android mobile phone or iPhone.
Ubuntu One Mobile also lets you sync your contacts from your Ubuntu One account to your mobile device. This option is supported by Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and others.
More features are promised. For the latest news, see https://one.ubuntu.com/mobile.