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Chrome OS: How To Edit A Google Drive File In Offline Mode Using vim

posted Nov 23, 2012, 9:49 AM by Israel Torres   [ updated Nov 24, 2012, 8:00 AM ]
This demonstration performed on an S3 Arm Chromebook using Chrome OS 
Version 23.0.1271.84
Platform 2913.168.0 / stable
Firmware Google_Snow.2695.104.0
Date: 20121123
Environmental requirements: You need to be in dev-mode using crosh (Type Control+Alt+T) then type shell (if you aren't using dev-mode you are in normal mode where the 'shell' command is not available)

Disclaimer: Be sure to save your files as this is an unofficial workaround. 


1. Select File in Google Drive and put in offline mode [enable check box]

2. Locate the file file in ~/GCache/v1/persistent, display original using cat

3. Open persistent file using vim

4. Modify file using vim, and save

5. Display modified file using cat

6. Copy using Google Drive GUI to ~/Downloads and display again using cat to validate modifications

Israel Torres 2012-11-23
-- thanks to drezha for bringing up this question on /r/ChromeOS 
-- thanks to bodangren2 for mentioning further clarification on step 6
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