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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on July 29 2020. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Rclone. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rclone, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rclone. Purge

Original short description: "Cloud storage management software"

Template:Use mdy dates


Rclone is an open source, command line computer program to manage files on cloud storage. Its capabilities include sync, transfer, encrypt, cache, union and mount. The rclone website lists fifty supported backends including S3 services and consumer file sharing platforms.[1]

Descriptions of rclone often carry the strapline Rclone syncs your files to cloud storage.[1] Those prior to 2020 include the alternative Rsync for Cloud Storage.[2] Users have called rclone The Swiss Army Knife of cloud storage,[3] and likened it to magic.[4]

Whilst rclone is well known for its rlone sync and rclone mount commands,[5] it provides further file management functions analogous to those ordinarily used for local disks.

Rclone is widely used at hpc research sites to transfer large datasets. Examples include the University of Maryland,[6] Iowa State University,[7] University of Utah,[8] National Institutes of Health,[9] Wharton,[10] Yale,[11] Minnesota,[12] Michigan State,[13] and Berkeley.[14]

Official Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Brew, Chocolatey, and other package managers include rclone.[15]


Nick Craig-Wood was inspired by rsync.[2] His wife's concerns about the noise and power costs arising from their home computer servers prompted him to move to cloud storage and begin developing rclone[16] in 2012.[17]

Rclone was promoted to stable version 1.00 in July 2014.[17]

In May 2017 Amazon barred new rclone users from its consumer Amazon Drive data storage product. Amazon Drive had been advertised as offering unlimited storage for £55 per year. Amazon blamed security concerns and also banned other upload utilities.[18] Amazon's more expensive AWS S3 service continues to support new rclone users.

The original rclone logo was retired to be replaced with the present one in September 2018.[19]

Amazon's AWS April 2020 public sector blog explained how the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center were using rclone in their Motuz tool to migrate very large biomedical research datasets in and out of AWS S3 object stores.[20]

May 2020 reports stated rclone had been used by hackers that attacked Diebold Nixdorf ATMs.[21][22]

Backends and Commands

The following services are supported as rclone backends. There are others, built on standard protocols such as WebDAV or S3, that work.[1]

1Fichier | Alibaba (Aliyun) Object Storage System (OSS) | Amazon Drive (See note) | Amazon S3 | Backblaze B2 | Box | Ceph | Citrix ShareFile | C14 | DigitalOcean Spaces | Dreamhost | Dropbox | FTP | Google Cloud Storage | Google Drive | Google Photos | HTTP | Hubic | Jottacloud | IBM COS S3 | Koofr | Mail.ru Cloud | Memset Memstore | Mega | Microsoft Azure Blob Storage | Microsoft OneDrive | Minio | Nextcloud | OVH | OpenDrive | OpenStack Swift | Oracle Cloud Storage | ownCloud | pCloud | premiumize.me | put.io | QingStor | Rackspace Cloud Files | rsync.net | Scaleway | Seafile | SFTP | StackPath | SugarSync | Tardigrade | Wasabi | WebDAV | Yandex Disk

One, or more, remotes are usually defined from these backends, local disk, or memory (as S3), with rclone config. Rclone can further wrap those remotes with one or more of alias, encrypt, chunk, cache, or union remotes.

Once defined, the remotes are referenced by other rclone commands interchangeably with the local drive. Remote names are followed by a colon to distinguish them from local drives. For example, a remote example_remote containing a folder, or pseudofolder, myfolder is referred to within a command as a path example_remote:/myfolder.[23] Many rclone commands refer to paths, not files. [24]

Rclone commands directly address remotes, or mount them, for other programs (with cache options), as if a conventional disk. They serve remotes over SFTP, HTTP, WebDAV, FTP and DLNA.[1] Commands can have sub-commands and a range of modifier flags.

Available Commands:[25]

 about           Get quota information from the remote.
 authorize       Remote authorization.
 backend         Run a backend specific command.
 cat             Concatenates any files and sends them to stdout.
 check           Checks the files in the source and destination match.
 cleanup         Clean up the remote if possible
 config          Enter an interactive configuration session.
 copy            Copy files from source to dest, skipping already copied
 copyto          Copy files from source to dest, skipping already copied
 copyurl         Copy url content to dest.
 cryptcheck      Cryptcheck checks the integrity of a crypted remote.
 cryptdecode     Cryptdecode returns unencrypted file names.
 dedupe          Interactively find duplicate files and delete/rename them.
 delete          Remove the contents of path.
 deletefile      Remove a single file from remote.
 genautocomplete Output completion script for a given shell.
 gendocs         Output markdown docs for rclone to the directory supplied.
 hashsum         Produces a hashsum file for all the objects in the path.
 help            Show help for rclone commands, flags and backends.
 link            Generate public link to file/folder.
 listremotes     List all the remotes in the config file.
 ls              List the objects in the path with size and path.
 lsd             List all directories/containers/buckets in the path.
 lsf             List directories and objects in remote:path formatted for parsing
 lsjson          List directories and objects in the path in JSON format.
 lsl             List the objects in path with modification time, size and path.
 md5sum          Produces an md5sum file for all the objects in the path.
 mkdir           Make the path if it doesn't already exist.
 mount           Mount the remote as file system on a mountpoint.
 move            Move files from source to dest.
 moveto          Move file or directory from source to dest.
 ncdu            Explore a remote with a text based user interface.
 obscure         Obscure password for use in the rclone config file
 purge           Remove the path and all of its contents.
 rc              Run a command against a running rclone.
 rcat            Copies standard input to file on remote.
 rcd             Run rclone listening to remote control commands only.
 rmdir           Remove the path if empty.
 rmdirs          Remove empty directories under the path.
 serve           Serve a remote over a protocol.
 settier         Changes storage class/tier of objects in remote.
 sha1sum         Produces an sha1sum file for all the objects in the path.
 size            Prints the total size and number of objects in remote:path.
 sync            Make source and dest identical, modifying destination only.
 touch           Create new file or change file modification time.
 tree            List the contents of the remote in a tree like fashion.
 version         Show the version number.

Academic evaluation

In 2018, University of Kentucky researchers published a conference paper comparing use of rclone and other command line, cloud data transfer agents for big data.[26] The paper was published as a result of funding by the National Science Foundation.[27]

In 2018, the University of Utah Center for High Performance Computing examined the impact of rclone options on data transfer rates.[28]


Rclone can serve a beta, web based remote control, graphical interface - rclone rc[29].

An rclone compression backend is under development to address small file, and compressible file format, transfer capacity.[30]

There have been persistent calls for a --magic flag to improve rclone.[31][32][33][34][35]

Rclone and rsync

Rsync transfers files between computers it is installed on. Rsync operates at the block level and has a delta algorithm so that it only needs to transfer changes in files. Rclone has a wider range of file management capabilities, and types of backend it can address, but only works at a whole file/object level.[36] Rclone decides which of those whole files to transfer after obtaining checksums, to compare, from the remote server. Where checksums are not available, rclone can use file size and timestamp.[37]

Eponymous cloud storage service rsync.net provides remote unix filesystems so that customers can run rsync and other standard unix tools.[38] They also offer rclone only accounts.[39]

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named homepage
  2. 2.0 2.1 "rclone/rclone". July 31, 2020. https://github.com/rclone/rclone. 
  3. "Issues with special characters in filenames". June 6, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/issues-with-special-characters-in-filenames/16955/11. 
  4. "Stopping and starting rclone mid transfer". October 11, 2016. https://forum.rclone.org/t/stopping-and-starting-rclone-mid-transfer/60. 
  5. "Sync Microsoft OneDrive in Linux With Rclone [Step by Step"]. June 18, 2020. https://itsfoss.com/use-onedrive-linux-rclone/. 
  6. "HPC Software Rclone". University of Maryland. https://hpcc.umd.edu/hpcc/help/software/rclone.html. 
  7. "Rclone - High Performance Computing". Iowa State University. https://www.hpc.iastate.edu/guides/rclone. 
  8. "rclone - Center for High Performance Computing - The University of Utah". The University of Utah. https://www.chpc.utah.edu/documentation/software/rclone.php. 
  9. "Rclone on Helix and Biowulf". National Institute of Health. https://hpc.nih.gov/apps/rclone.html. 
  10. "Rclone". University of Pennsylvania. https://research-it.wharton.upenn.edu/tools/rclone/. 
  11. "Rclone - Yale Center for Research Computing". Yale University. https://docs.ycrc.yale.edu/clusters-at-yale/guides/rclone/. 
  12. "rclone - The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute". University of Minnesota. https://www.msi.umn.edu/sw/rclone. 
  13. "Rclone on HPCC - Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research - Michigan State University". Michigan State University. https://icer.msu.edu/about/announcements/rclone-hpcc. 
  14. "Transferring Data Between Savio and Your bDrive (Google Drive) Account". University of California, Berkeley. https://research-it.berkeley.edu/services/high-performance-computing/transferring-data-between-savio-and-your-bdrive-google-drive. 
  15. "rclone package versions - Repology". https://repology.org/project/rclone/versions. 
  16. "Is rclone more efficient than an nfs mount". June 10, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/is-rclone-more-efficient-than-an-nfs-mount/16974/6. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Changelog". https://rclone.org/changelog/. 
  18. "Amazon Drive bans rclone storage client". https://www.theregister.com/2017/05/23/amazon_drive_bans_rclone_storage_client/. 
  19. "A New Logo for rclone". September 30, 2018. https://forum.rclone.org/t/a-new-logo-for-rclone/7019. 
  20. "How Fred Hutch unlocks siloed data with AWS and open-source software". April 16, 2020. https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/publicsector/how-fred-hutch-unlocks-siloed-data-open-source-software/. 
  21. "Diebold Nixdorf ATM attack by ProLock ransomware used QakBot trojan to access networks". https://www.scmagazineuk.com/diebold-nixdorf-atm-attack-prolock-ransomware-used-qakbot-trojan-access-networks/article/1683611. 
  22. "ProLock Ransomware teams up with QakBot trojan for network access". https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/prolock-ransomware-teams-up-with-qakbot-trojan-for-network-access/. 
  23. McKay, Dave. "How to Use rclone to Back Up to Google Drive on Linux". https://www.howtogeek.com/451262/how-to-use-rclone-to-back-up-to-google-drive-on-linux/. 
  24. "rclone copy". https://rclone.org/commands/rclone_copy/. 
  25. "Commands". https://rclone.org/commands/. 
  26. "Navigating the Unexpected Realities of Big Data Transfers in a Cloud-based World" (PDF). National Science Foundation. https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10073416. 
  27. "NSF Award Search: Award#1541380 - CC*DNI Networking Infrastructure: An Software Defined Networking-Enabled Research Infrastructure". National Science Foundation. May 9, 2018. https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1541380. 
  28. "rclone - Center for High Performance Computing - The University of Utah". The University of Utah. https://www.chpc.utah.edu/documentation/software/rclone.php#eteooop. 
  29. "GUI". https://rclone.org/gui/. 
  30. "Beta testers wanted for new experimental compression remote". March 7, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/beta-testers-wanted-for-new-experimental-compression-remote/14777. 
  31. "Rclone 1.52 release". May 27, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/rclone-1-52-release/16718/7. 
  32. "Mkdir on b2: consider adding some output?". July 6, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/mkdir-on-b2-consider-adding-some-output/17689/6. 
  33. "Copy Local Files to Google Drive TD With --drive-server-side-across-configs". May 25, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/copy-local-files-to-google-drive-td-with-drive-server-side-across-configs/16653/8. 
  34. "Google Drive very slow and way below quota". July 21, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/google-drive-very-slow-and-way-below-quota/18004/8. 
  35. "[Total newbie Question about rclone cloud to cloud copy speeds"]. July 2, 2020. https://forum.rclone.org/t/total-newbie-question-about-rclone-cloud-to-cloud-copy-speeds/17603/8. 
  36. "Difference between Rclone and Rsync when syncing to the Local Filesystem?". July 9, 2017. https://forum.rclone.org/t/difference-between-rclone-and-rsync-when-syncing-to-the-local-filesystem/3088/2. 
  37. "SFTP". https://rclone.org/sftp/#limitations. 
  38. "rsync.net Cloud Storage for Offsite Backups". https://www.rsync.net/about.html. 
  39. "Cloud Storage for Offsite Backups - rclone support". https://www.rsync.net/products/rclone.html. 

External links