skillion/onedrive setup and monitoring (


odmon - The ondrive monitor

  1. 2018 Georg Lehner <>;

Share and use it as you like, but don't blame me.

What is it

onedrive is a command line application, capable of syncing the files of a Microsoft OneDrive account. We have created patches which allow for better selection of what to sync and syncing drives shared via Office 365 Enterprise or Education.

The onedrive program only syncs one drive at once, but you can run several instances of onedrive to sync several drives.

odmon is a collection of Tcl scripts which ease the task of configuring and running this collection of onedrive processes.

odopen.tcl Helps to create the required authorization tokens and configures drives from SharePoint URLs

odmon.tcl picks up all configured drives and runs onedrive for each of them. It presents an icon in the system tray which indicates synchronization activity and can be used to hide/unhide the main window.

How to install

Requisites and manual testing

odmon and odopen are single file Tcl script with all required code included. They need no privileges and can be run directly by hand, without any installation procedure.

Software requisites for odmon:

  • Debian GNU/Linux 9.3
  • Patched onedrive
  • Tcl/Tk 8.6
  • tktray package - optional

It is very likely, that odmon will run successfully on a wide range of variants of the above, with no or little changes. Please report success and failure on yours.

Requisities for the automated installation:

  • make - optional for installing the application
  • ImageMagick - optional for creating the application icon
  • xdg-desktopmenu - optional
    for installing the protocol handler and the menu entries
  • markdown - for creating the html version of this document.


odmon features support for the Desktop Entry specification and such integrates with compliant distributions/desktops.

Copy the complete odmon distribution directory on your computer, open a commandline shell and enter the directory, then run:

sudo make install

This will copy the scripts to /usr/local/bin, the application icon to /usr/local/share/odmon/ and run xdg-desktop-menu with the two desktop files for odmon and odopen.

You can tweak the Makefile or do all wanted steps by hand if you have other requirements.

How to use

You must have set up synchronization of your personal drive with onedrive before you can use odmon. This assures, that a refresh_token and a basic configuration is present.

Alternatively, run odopen and 'Authorize', than symlink the file odopen_token in the ondrive configuration directory to refresh_token.

When you run odmon.tcl it will read the onedrive configuration directory ~/.config/onedriveand any subdirectories to collect drives to monitor. Monitoring settings and additional drive directories can be specified in the file ~/.config/onedrive/odmon.conf. Once set up, odmon starts onedrive for each of the configured drives in the background.

If the tktray package can be loaded, odmon installs a tray icon which can be used to show/hide the main window (left click) and to exit the program (double right click).

If tktray is not available the main window shows up. If tktray is installed and working, the odmon tray icon shows up in the system tray and the odmon main window is hidden. You can open the main window with a single click, and close the application with a double right click on the tray icon. You will be asked for confirmation.

The main window has an 'odmon' tab, with a log window for the application. For each configured drive, a new tab with a 'Show Log' button is added. This button opens a terminal emulator window showing the running log.

There is a Command: entry box on the top of them main windows, which allows to execute arbitrary Tcl commands inside the interpreter running odmon.

The odmon configuration file

After detecting all subdirectories of ~/.config/onedrive odmon tries to read the file ~ /.config/onedrive/odmon.conf. You can disable monitoring of a specific drive and change the path of the logfile.

It is also possible to add drives which are configured outside of ~/.config/onedrive, by adding a section which contains at least a confdir parameter.

The following is a list of recognized parameters:

used as the name in the GUI
configuration directory to use for onedrive. If specified in a section of an existing drive, this is ignored.
path to the logfile. If it is relative, it is taken relative to the confdir.
if set to true, the drive will not be shown in the GUI and not be monitored by odmon.

You can also set global parameters, they must come before the first section.

a commandline string to use for the xterm, must end with -e
example: xterm -T {$title} -hold -rv -e
set to normal if you want to show the main window on startup

Adding new drives

The odopen.tcl script is a utility to parse a SharePoint drive URL and add a onedrive configuration for it.

To add a new drive, open a SharePoint website, select the Documents section and click on Synchronization. If you have made the [Complete Installation] process, the browser should run odopen automatically.

Otherwise you should get an error message, stating that this kind of URL cannot be opened. Copy the URL, which starts with odopen://sync? and paste it into the entry box to the left of the odopen? button, than press the button.

If everything goes well, you should be shown some technical details and be asked if you want to add the drive. Assent and (re)start odmon.

There is a Command: entry box on the top of them main windows, which allows to execute arbitrary Tcl commands inside the interpreter running odopen.

Status of odmon

odmon is a bunch of hastily glued together routines. Since you already read the license, there is no need to overstress that it is your fault if you loose data or anything consequential by using odmon.

At this moment a lot of desirable fancy features are missing and I have left interactive debugging features in the GUI, so I can play around to see how to implement them. This makes the programs somewhat ugly and unelegant; ok, better let's say they are nerdy.

That said, odmon does it's basic job in my environment. No effort has been put into odmon to make it resiliant to failure conditions like network interruptions or unexpected responses from the Microsoft Graph API.

I'll be more then happy to receive feedback and adapt odmon to a broader range of environments.

Plug: Tip me if you want to improve onedrive or odmon but cannot or do not want to do it by yourself.


  • Add stats/info about each drive on the respective odmon drive tab.
  • Add abililty to enable/disable, stop/start syncronization of each drive.
  • Add abillity to re-read configuration, so we can dinamically add/remove drives.
  • Make robust, if not production ready.
  • Add ability to process any odopen:// URL we can get our hands on.
  • Test and port for OS X and Microsoft Windows.
  • Feed back some issue to onedrive especially make it behave better for logging, sync feedback and make GUI based authorization possible or easier.
  • Rewrite either onedrive in Tcl or odmon in D.
  • Decide about a future onedrive architecture so it either
  • does multiple syncs by itself or
  • factors out some data

How things are done

Synchronization directory

odmon tries to mimic the OneDrive for Business clients' convention for naming the directories to be synced. If we have the following data:

  • Business/Organization where the user account is registered: ORG
  • SharePoint site name: SITE
  • Name of the document collection (drive) to be synced: DOCS

Then the directory: ~/ORG/SITE - DOCS will be configured for synchronization.

Configuration directory

Each additional drive is configured as a sub directory of ~/.config/onedrive, the latter is the onedrive default for the personal drive.

The directory name is the SITE string, encoded with z-base-32 which is pure lowercase ASCII, so any string for SITE will work out. Unincidentially lowercase also happens to be a requirement for Tk window names (lowercase).

The z-base-32 encoder/decoder implementation is rather keen: don't use it on large volumes of data. It is also untested.

Microsoft GraphAPI

The authentication to the Microsoft GraphAPI was done by hijacking both the onedrive clientId and the refresh token, maintained by the personal drive configuration of onedrive. We don' t even have to fake the User-Agent string. Easy, isn't it?

Currently we only hijack the clientId and handle the refresh token ourselves, since we need more privileges in odopen, in order to read the Organization name.

We use the ton JSON parser, see this post. if you want to know something about it.

Dock and window Icon

The odmon icon was drawn with The Gimp. It is meant to represent white, cloudy O, D an M letters in front of a OneDrive blueish sky.

ODM is OneDriveMonitor, you guessed it, and I am lousy at design, am I not?

The image is exported to a .gif file which is then base64 encoded. The resulting string is copy/pasted into the code and provides the window and task bar icon.

For the system tray icon the image is converted to black/white, the colors are inverted and it is exported as a standard .xbm file. The contents of this file is copy/pasted into the code.


All credits go to skillion for onedrive and to Jon Ousterhout and fellows for Tcl/Tk and the incredible Tlcer's Wiki. Thanks to Per Öberg for his feedback on the very first version.