Install and Use MEGA Cloud Storage in Linux

MEGA is a popular cloud storage service. It gives up to 20 GB of free, end-to-end encrypted storage.

You can access your files using a web browser. There are also applications for all major platforms like Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS. This way you keep your files synced with all the devices you use.

MEGA is one of the few cloud storage service providers with a native Linux client. With zero-knowledge encryption, it makes a good choice of cloud service for all kinds of Linux users.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you the steps for installing Mega on Ubuntu and other major Linux distributions.

MEGA claims to provide end-to-end encryption and thus keeping your data private. The encryption key is held by the user instead of the cloud service provider, claims MEGA.

Features of MEGA cloud service

mega sync linux
Mega desktop app illustration

Following are some of the key features of MEGA cloud service:

  • Uo to 20 GB free cloud storage
  • Further cloud storage starting from Euro 4.99 per month for 400 GB
  • End-to-end, zero knowledge encryption
  • Available in the web browser
  • Available on all platforms be it Linux, Windows, Mac OS X or mobile platforms like Android and iOS
  • File versioning
  • Secure file sharing
  • Privat chat options
  • Automatic camera upload from smartphones
  • Photo viewer and video player in the web browser
  • Selective sync for the applications
  • Stream media to your favorite player
  • Deleted data retention for 30 days

Installing MEGA desktop application in Linux

Unlike Google Drive, MEGA not only offers a generous 20 GB of free storage but also offers a native desktop client for Linux.

Binaries are available to easily install MEGASync (desktop sync client for MEGA) on all major Linux desktops.

Go to this page:

Click on the Mega Desktop App, if needed.

mega download select platform.resized
Mega Download Select Platform

You can get the binary package for MEGASync on the download page.

Just choose your Linux distribution (or the distribution on which your Linux OS is based on). You can see Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, elementary, Debian and many more options here.

mega select distro
Mega Select Distro

Once you have downloaded the correct binary file for your Linux distribution, go to Download folder and double-click on it to install it.

For Ubuntu, Debian, Mint etc, you’ll get a .deb file. Go to the Downloads folder and double click on this downloaded file to install from this deb file.

mega deb file

When you double click on it, it opens the Software Center. Click the install button to start the installation.

install mega ubuntu

Using MEGASync in Linux

Once installed, start the application by looking for it in the menu:

start mega ubuntu linux

On the first run, you’ll be asked to log in to your existing account or create one.

mega app first run
First run of Mega app

Once you are past that, you can choose whether you want to sync all the folders from cloud drive to the local or just a few. If you go for Selective Sync, you’ll have to specify or create those local folders in the Mega folder to organize them. Unlike Dropbox, it doesn’t automatically create individual folders.

selective sync mega
selective sync mega

MEGASync client also installs an indicator so that you can easily access it. The transfers tab list all the completed uploads.

mega tray 1
Mega Tray

Bonus tip: Nautilus extensions

Mega also provides extensions for Nautilus (GNOME), Thunar (Xfce), Nemo (Cinnamon), and Dolphin (KDE) file managers. With the file manager extensions, you can sync any existing folder or file from the file manager to the cloud. You don’t have to put them inside the MegaSync folder.

When you go to the download page to download the MEGASync client, you’ll also find the option to download the file extensions there.

file ext
File Extensions

Updating Mega sync client

When there is a new version of the Mega desktop client available, it will notify you through desktop notifications. Click on it and it downloads and installs the new version automatically.

Removing Mega sync client

The mega sync client package is named as ‘megasync’. So you can remove it using your distribution’s package manager.

On Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions, you can use the following command:

sudo apt remove megasync

Worth a try?

Mega may not have the office suite feature like Google Drive. However, 20 GB of free cloud storage with end to end encryption is a good deal. The native Linux client is also a plus here.

Of course. you can always look for other cloud storage services on Linux. I use more than one to get more storage and segregate data. Mega is one of them and I can confidently recommend it to you.

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  • Hi! I’m having trouble since last update of megasync in Manjaro Linux, now it won’t open and I get the following error:

    Setting QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS= “HDMI-A-1=1”
    Error unsetting QT_QPA_PLATFORMTHEME vble
    Segmentation fault.

    Do you know how to pass around this issue?

  • I keep the files, etc that I would not want in the Cloud on a Nextcloud Server on my local network. This way I can sync between my Linux/Windows computers.

  • Unlike Dropbox (DB), MEGA allows for dual booting (e.g., Windows and Linux on a modest SSD) with a shared location (e.g., on a large internal HDD data drive). This dual boot setup is relatively common, and MEGA offer a huge advantage as it avoids having duplicate files/folders on the same PC isolated to each operating system, and MEGA do not limit the number of devices (only 3 in DB). Read on if interested:

    The secondary data drive must be NTFS formatted (readable by Linux and Windows, and not subject to FAT time zone sync issues).

    The secondary drive settings in Linux should be set to mount on startup (the GUI method at https://askubuntu.com/questions/164926/how-to-make-partitions-mount-at-startup works perfectly) for MEGA to recognise the local source.

    Under Settings – Syncs it is easy to point to the shared local folder.

    Done.

  • yeah nah, MEGA deleted my entire music and sample libraries after the software flipped out and started randomly moving files around, before finishing it all off by deleting almost all of my old music projects and a load of my current ones. plus the client sucks up resources like there’s no tomorrow for apparently no reason.
    god-awful service, avoid it like the plague.

    • That sounds like a bad experience! There are some fish-hooks. A lot of angry comments on the MEGA Facebook page where I think people have uploaded more than the 15 GB basic free plan thinking the 50 GB offer will last – and then have apparently overlooked (or not received) emails saying their allocation will reduce – with data lost that way. Dropbox is different in that its rewards do not expire, and unfortunately the MEGA model can end in tears. The take-home message is back your data up locally. I was almost caught by uploading >15 GB before receiving the 50GB offer, and although all the folders were copied across to MEGA, many were empty (due to the allocation limitation) despite saying it was all synced. However, MEGA has some major advantages for Linux users and I have had fast and helpful replies from their developers on other matters.