Google Docs Backup with GDocBackup

I was searching for a simple way to make local backups of my Google Docs and found gdocbackup on Google Code. According to the project docs it runs on Windows and Linux (with Mono) so I tried it on both Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop.

On the Windows 7 PC, I downloaded the installer from the Google Code project page, installed the application, and ran it. After configuring the backup directory and export formats for the documents I executed the backup and it worked fine.

Running it on Ubuntu took a bit more setup since I did not have Mono installed. First I installed the required Mono packages.

sudo apt-get install mono-runtime libmono-winforms2.0-cil mono-devel

The mono-devel package installs the mozroots utility needed to install a certificate required to access Google Docs (see

Next I imported the Mozilla root certificates into Mono (see

mozroots --import --sync

I downloaded from the gdocbackup project’s Downloads page and extracted it to a GDocBak directory I created in my home directory. I also created a Data directory under GDocBak to hold the backup files. I opened a terminal in the GDocBak directory and ran GDocBackup.exe in Mono.

mono ./GDocBackup.exe

At this point the GDocBackup application worked the same as in Windows 7. It looks a little different but it downloaded the documents without errors. Now I just need to automate the backups.

2 thoughts on “Google Docs Backup with GDocBackup

  1. fabrizio January 1, 2010 / 10:00 am

    If you want to automate the backup process you have 2 choice:
    – use the command line version and run it through ScheduledTask (win) or Cron (linux)
    – use the normal (GUI) version and add the -autostart option. Plus, run it by ScheduledTask or Cron.

    fabrizio (gdocbackup author)


    • Bill Melvin January 7, 2010 / 6:35 pm


      I tried both the command line version and using -autostart with the GUI and both options work well. I’ll probably end up using the command line version with Mono and Cron on Ubuntu to automate it. For now I’m still running it manually after I’ve made changes to documents. Thanks for the information, and thanks for a nice and easy way to backup Google Docs.


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