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Using an Ubuntu One Account (11.x and Above)

Why do I need an Ubuntu One Account?

The distributors of Ubuntu (Canonical) provide a facility with allows you to upload critical files to their server. This is useful for three main reasons:

  • If you need to keep backups of critical files

  • If you want to share content (-e.g. slides, video, documents) with people in remote locations

  • If you want to buy MP3 music downloads (-see the chapter on MP3)

The Ubuntu One account is free for the default (limited) service, but for a monthly fee, you can have more space and services at your disposal. See their site at details of the current plans available.

For this chapter, we will assume that you want the standard (free) service for occasional use.

Note: this functionality is currently only available to Ubuntu users

Setting up an Ubuntu One Account

If you are using Ubuntu 10.x or below, the instructions are slightly different, so see the section on using Ubuntu One with 10.x and below.

Assuming that you are using Ubuntu 11.x or above (-with the Unity interface), then to configure Ubuntu One simply do the following:

  1. Click the envelope icon (Envelope Icon) in the top right of the Gnome desktop and select "Ubuntu One" from the options:
    Ubuntu One Menu Option

  2. A splash page will display: click on the "Join Now" link:
    Ubuntu One Enter Account Details

  3. A dialogue box will open requesting an email account and a password (-note: the password does not and should not be the same as your email password). Fill in the rest of the dialogue box and click on the “Forward” button:
    Ubuntu One Enter Account Details

  4. You will then be asked to enter a “Confirmation Code” that has been emailed to the address you entered:
    Ubuntu One Enter Confirmation Code Prompt

  5. Go into your email account and look for the message from “”. Highlight the confirmation code and press CTRL+C to copy the value into the paste buffer

  6. Back in the Ubuntu One setup dialogue box, click in the text box and use CTRL+V to paste in the verification code, before clicking “OK”

  7. If all went well, you should see a message saying that the process completed successfully

  8. Click the “Close” button to end the setup wizard. The Ubuntu One Control Panel should be displayed – showing the default (free) storage of 2Gb:
    Ubuntu One Control Panel

  9. If you now click the "Cloud Folders" button, you can change the configuration options for what is synchronised up to your Ubuntu One account and what is not:
    Ubuntu One Cloud Folders

Note: if you need further help, Canonicalhave tutorials under

Synchronising Files to your Ubuntu One Account

The Ubuntu One account allows you to backup critical files (-those you can't afford to lose) to the “cloud” (-some server(s) out there on the web somewhere).

First, we need to ensure that files are selected for backup. Click on the Ubuntu One icon in the Unity Launcher:

Ubuntu One Unity Icon

The Ubuntu One Control Panel will display - click on the "Services" button:

Ubuntu One Control Panel

Ensure that the "Enable File Sync" checkbox is enabled. You can also choose to synchronize your Evolution contacts and your browser bookmarks to your UbuntuOne account as well, should you so desire.

Adding Directories to your Ubuntu One Synchronisation

Use the “Places” menu to navigate to the folder/directory that you wish to backup, right click it and choose:

Ubuntu One -> Synchronize this Folder

Ubuntu One Synchronize Option

When this option has been enabled, you will see the folder icon change to show that it is now being synchronized:

Ubuntu One Synchronize Option

When you click down into this directory in future, you'll see a banner/ribbon similar to the following at the top of the pane, showing you that it's being backed up:

Ubuntu One Synchronized Ribbon

To stop the directory from being backed up to your Ubuntu One account, simply uncheck (untick) the “Synchronise this folder” checkbox:

Ubuntu One Unsynchronized Ribbon

Managing Files in your Ubuntu One Account

From Ubuntu 11.4 onwards, files synchronized to your Ubuntu One account can be administered directly from the Gnome Explorer. Simply navigate to the file or folder, then right-click it and select "Ubuntu One" to see the available actions.

For synchronized folders, the available actions are to "Share" the folder out so other people can access it from your Ubuntu One account (-or to stop sharing it) and to hide the synchronization ribbon when you view the folder in the Gnome Explorer:

Ubuntu One Synchronized Folder Options

For synchronized files, the available actions are to "Publish" the file out so other people can see it from your Ubuntu One account (-or to stop publishing it) and to hide the synchronization ribbon:

Ubuntu One Synchronized File Options

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