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How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 11:12 AM PDT

Google introduced at the end of last week a new tool called GoogleCL. The runs from the command-line (yes, the Linux terminal), and 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. These are just a few of the numerous functionalities of the new GoogleCL tool (see below for a complete list).

Many of today’s computer users, the ones accustomed with graphical user interfaces, will not endorse the use of a command-line tool. Therefore, we’ve created this tutorial to show you a few real-life examples of how useful and simple this tool can be if you employ Google services on a daily basis. Please keep in mind that you must have an existing Google account (GMail e-mail address).

First of all, we will list all the available (at the moment of writing this) functions, for each service, provided by GoogleCL:

  • Picasa: download (get) photos, list photos, list albums, tag photos, post photos to existing album, create new album, delete photos and delete album;
  • YouTube: post video, list videos, tag video and delete video;
  • Calendar: add event to existing calendar, list events from existing calendar, list today’s events and delete event from existing calendar;
  • Contacts: list contacts, list contact groups, add contacts, add contact group(s), delete contact group(s) and delete contacts;
  • Blogger: post content, label content, list posts from existing blog and delete post;
  • Docs: edit document, delete document(s), list documents, upload document and download (get) document.

How to install

If you are on a Ubuntu platform, GoogleCL is very easy to install. Just download the .deb file from here, save it on your desktop, double click it and install it. That’s it! Now you can open a terminal, type google and hit Enter. At this moment, you have Google’s most useful services at your fingertips. Just remember that when you first use GoogleCL, for each service, you need to grant access to the application. This is a one time process!

Example One – Posting a new album with 38 photos in Picasa

Editor’s note: As we said above, you must have set up a Picasa account. No existing albums or photos are required. All we did was to set a name for the account.

Let’s say we want to quickly upload a new album with 38 photos. How much will this take if one uses the standard web interface? Answer: a few good minutes. Why? Because an album must be created first, and you can ONLY upload five photos at a time. Not to mention that you must browse for each photo you want to upload and be careful not to make doubles.

With GoogleCL, the whole process took a few seconds. All we had to do was type the following command and hit Enter after it:

google picasa create –title “Softpedia Linux Test Photos” /home/marius/Pictures/Wallpapers1/*

We’ve waited for the photos to be uploaded and here is the final result…

How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Example Two – Replacing a video on YouTube

Editor’s note: Once again, we remind you that a YouTube account is required for this. A GMail account is all you need!

Lets say that we want to quickly delete an existing video and replace it with a new one. From the web interface, this will take some time, as we have to go to My Videos, search for the respective video and delete it. Then, we need to go through the entire video uploading process.

With GoogleCL, the whole process took about 3 seconds. All we had to do was type the following commands (one by one) and hit Enter after each:

google youtube delete –title “Softpedia_Test”
google youtube post –category Music /home/marius/Videos/Softpedia_Test.wmv

How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Example Three – Post an already formatted article on your blog

Lets say that we’ve written this article and now we want to post it on our blog hosted by Blogger. From a web browser, you have to login into the blog, hit the New Post button and paste the article’s text. This does not take so much of our precious time, but with GoogleCL, from the command-line, it will take a second… by executing the following command:

google blogger post /home/marius/Documents/How to Use GoogleCL in Linux.txt

How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Example Four – Quickly add events to your calendar!

Adding events to your Google Calendar has never been easier with GoogleCL. All you have to do is type the right command. For example:

google calendar add “Softpedia meeting today at 6pm”

adds an event for today at 6 pm


google calendar add “Softpedia meeting on 26 june at 8am”

will add an event for Saturday, June 26th at 8 am.

How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Example Five – Easily manage your Google Docs documents

Lets say you have a lot of documents in your Google Docs account. With GoogleCL, it is very easy to list the documents. For example, if you execute the following command…

google docs list title,url-direct –delimiter “: “

…it will list the documents in the terminal window, with a download link in front of them. If you click the link, you’ll get the document as a PDF file!

How to Use GoogleCL in Linux

Still not convinced by the usefulness of GoogleCL? You can check out the examples provided by Google on the project’s page.

If you like this project, make sure to watch its evolution, as various other Google services will be supported in the near future!

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