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School Directory Sync Quick Start Guide

Google School Directory Sync is designed specifically for an education environment. It processes CSV files from a student or management information system to automatically provision Google Classroom classes. It can also be used to synchronize users, organizational units, and groups in G Suite for Education. School Directory Sync does not require Active Directory®. It runs locally on a server in a school's network, using the command line or Configuration Manager.

Work flow for School Directory Sync


After you set up your school's system with School Directory Sync, you can:

  • Use an existing third-party scheduling software to automatically schedule synchronizations.
  • Create, modify, or delete Google Classroom classes quickly.
  • Create, modify, or delete users quickly.
  • Automatically create organizational units and groups in the following formats:
    • All people (students and staff) by school
    • All students by school
    • All staff by school
    • All students by district
    • All staff by district
    • All people (students and staff) per section
    • All people (students and staff) per grade or class
Your school system data and directory information is never modified or compromised. School Directory Sync only synchronizes data with G Suite for Education.


Collect school system information
You do not need to run School Directory Sync on the same machine or server where your school's information system is running.
  • The CSV files need to be named and formatted according to IMS OneRoster v1.0 format to work with School Directory Sync.
  • School Directory Sync has no direct contact with your school's information system. It only synchronizes the CSV files you export.
  • The exported CSV files must be located on the same server or computer that is running School Directory Sync.
Prepare G Suite for Education domain for synchronization
For initial testing, we strongly recommend using a test domain.
  • You must use the primary domain name with School Directory Sync because domain or secondary aliases aren't recognized. The primary domain name is the one you use to access the Google Admin console.
  • You need a super administrator account for your G Suite domain that is setup in the Admin console.
  • You need to enable API access for the Classroom API and G Suite Administrative APIs.
Prepare servers for synchronization
  • Verify the operating system:
    • Windows®: School Directory Sync is supported on XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012. Windows 8 should also be supported, but let us know if you have problems.
    • Linux®: If you’re using a 32-bit version of School Directory Sync on a 64-bit Linux system, a 32-bit libc (such as libc6-i386 ) must be installed.
    • If you have an x64 machine, install the x64 version of School Directory Sync.
  • Allocate at least 5 GB of disk space for log files and data. If you are running the DEBUG or INFO level of logging, you may need more free space than this for additional log data.
  • Allocate at least 256 MB of free RAM. However, if you have less than 10,000 users, it is recommended that you allocate at least 1 GB of free RAM. And, if you have more than 10,000 users, allocate at least 2 GB of free RAM.
Enable network access to Google services
  • Enable access through HTTPS directly or through a proxy server, including ports 80 and 443. For best results, a network connection to G Suite for Education with no proxies or firewalls is recommended.
  • Set up a mail server that is able to accept and relay notifications from School Directory Sync. If you don’t have one, you can also use Google’s default mail server ( without authentication.
  • Set up access to SSL Certificate Authorities for your network.

Using School Directory Sync

For initial testing, we strongly recommend that you use a test domain.
  1. Install School Directory Sync. Download and install School Directory Sync.
  2. Configure School Directory Sync. Use Configuration Manager to configure a synchronization. You'll need to enter your domain, authenticate any administrator accounts, configure what you want to synchronize, and set up notifications and logging.
  3. Simulate synchronization. Use Configuration Manager to simulate a synchronization and review the results.
  4. Revise configuration. Review the results of the simulated synchronization. If needed, revise your configuration in Configuration Manager. This may take several revisions for complex environments.

    To prevent you from making large, unintended changes, School Directory Sync allows you to define thresholds on the number of changes being made to user data.

  5. Synchronize. When you're confident that the configuration is correct, you click Sync & apply changes or use the command line to initiate the synchronization. The first synchronization, which imports all information, is likely to take much longer than later synchronizations.
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