Why should I suddenly need "python3-pydrive" ?

Asked by Hérix on 2020-08-25

Upon starting scheduled back-up, Déjà Dup stalls, demanding that I install "python3-pydrive". Same when triggered manually.

The message box reads, in full: "Back Up" "Install Packages" "In order to continue the following packages need to be installed:" "python3-pydrive"

It is rather unusual that a software demands a new package in order to continue working as usual, and even a bit unsettling. At first I couldn't help and wonder if this was not some sort of scam.

In Synaptic packet manager, I see that "python3-pydrive" is a "Google Drive API Python wrapper library". Good, but why would a free software demand an API to connect to Google Drive ? I don't use Google Drive, don't want to, would not trust them with my data.

Here are my questions :

1/ If I eventually relent and do install "python3-pydrive", how can I be certain that Déjà Dup won't do anything funny with my data, google-wise ?

2/ Is there any way to de-activate this googly option ?

3/ What would be another free software, serving the same purpose as Déjà Dup, but without any suspicion of being infiltrated by Alphabet inc. ?


NB: thus far I loved Déjà Dup and it served me well. I am afraid that this love might now be tainted.

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Michael Terry (mterry) said : #1

Hello! I'm sorry to hear that Deja Dup is surprising you like this.

Deja Dup will ask to install packages it thinks it needs. For example, if you choose to back up to Google Drive, it will want to install "python3-pydrive".

So in that sense, what you see sounds normal. The bit that doesn't sound normal is that you were not intending to back up to Google Drive.

Google Drive is the default storage location for Deja Dup. Did something happen that might reset Deja Dup's preferences?

To answer your questions:

1) I mean, I guess you never know what a software will do behind your back, but if you don't authorize an app to connect to your Google account, it can't touch your data even if python3-pydrive is installed. (And Deja Dup isn't going to try to do anything behind your back anyway, but you only have my word on that, unless you dig through the code.)

2) There's no way to disable Deja Dup from trying to install what it thinks it needs. But if you look at the Preferences of Deja Dup, you can confirm whether Google Drive is currently set as the storage location. Deja Dup shouldn't ask to do this if Google Drive isn't the current location.

3) https://alternativeto.net/software/deja-dup/

Hérix (eric-viala) said : #2

Thank you very much for this detailed and helpfull answer.

I had to tweak a bit to check the settings, since I couldn't launch Déjà Dup the usual way, but I finally found `org.gnome.DejaDup.desktop` and the the storage location was indeed set to Google Drive.

I don't have an explaination for this, and I did certainly not set it thus myself. I can only conjecture that my SSD is getting old and that said config file might have been corrupted.

Déjà Dup now exonerated of any fault, love restored ;-)