Test Drive: the new Google Desktop for Linux
Installation and integration
The first public beta of Google Desktop for Linux is now available for download. Released yesterday, this early beta only supports a limited subset of Google Desktop functionality. Google's previous efforts to port desktop applications to Linux have been hit or miss. The current Google Desktop for Linux beta only offers search and versioning functionality and doesn't support other features like the Google sidebar or widgets, but the work done so far is very good. Unlike Picasa, which used Wine, the Google Desktop port is entirely native.
I use Ubuntu, so I was able to install Google Desktop using the Deb package provided by Google. In addition to making packages available for download, Google also conveniently hosts its own package repositories for a handful of distributions. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like a generic binary tarball is available at this time, so those who aren't using a supported distribution are going to have to wait or find a way to adapt the available packages. Google Desktop installs to /opt/google/desktop and the user-specific data is all stored in ~/.google/desktop.
After installation, Google Desktop will start automatically when the computer boots.