Directory contents browsable but not stored locally?

Is it possible to have access to browsing a directory locally, but only store the contents on Google Drive? For example, the directory and all of its contents appearing as normal in Nautilus, but the files are not really there, and instead they are some kind of shortcuts or aliases only downloaded on-the-fly when I try to access them?

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Insync 1.5.7.

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Just some more on this:

I would like to store a large encrypted video library on Google Drive with files between ~300MB and ~5GB, and have ready access to the files from Ubuntu 18.04 - without having to actually sync or store the entire library on my local machine. That is, I would like the files to load (or stream?) on demand, only when they are accessed, when they are moved, or the file names changed etc - all of which would be handled by Cryptomator.

To test this I used Cryptomator to create a vault within the directory where Insync has my google drive mounted, and I then moved 5 videos of ~300MB into the virtual drive Cryptomator mounts to a directory - all of this occurred on the same local disk. The files encrypt and move quickly, but it seems I need to have the entire encrypted vault synced/downloaded to my local disk to make changes or even access it.

Is there a way with Insync 1.5.7 or Insync 3, where the encrypted vault could be browsable, but the files are only actually downloaded when they are accessed?

I suggest this be moved to feature requests as this is not currently a feature of insync. Ignoring the encryption, this is essentially how google drive app on smart devices function. The catch is it’s only inside the app and not something that can be integrated natively into the OS file management. It would be neat if this existed, I certainly see a use case. Assuming it’s possible, given the current state of insync v3 and the other issues that need to be addressed, I wouldn’t count on something like this being implemented any time soon.


@kyle is right, this feature isn’t currently available yet. I’ve moved this post under feature requests and have forwarded it to our product team for review. :slight_smile:

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You can do this easily on Linux without insync. Here is an article that explains below. I believe it uses an internal cache you can set to be small or large.

Since insync allows partial syncs for some folders, you should be able have a dual approach too.

I was having some issues using google-drive-ocamlfuse for this which were resolved by changing from the automount fstab method to the automount on WiFi method.

That said, I would still rather use Insync for this. Insync has file manager and gnome integration, and makes it very obvious when files are synced - or in this case I guess uploaded. With google-drive-ocamlfuse I am reliant on monitoring nethogs to see when it has finished uploading.

Really, the dream solution, is Insync with this feature and encryption baked in.

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