Swift refers to Openstack Object Storage. Commercial implementations of that being:

Paths are specified as remote:container (or remote: for the lsd command.) You may put subdirectories in too, eg remote:container/path/to/dir.

Here is an example of making a swift configuration. First run

rclone config

This will guide you through an interactive setup process.

No remotes found - make a new one
n) New remote
s) Set configuration password
n/s> n
name> remote
Type of storage to configure.
Choose a number from below, or type in your own value
 1 / Amazon Drive
   \ "amazon cloud drive"
 2 / Amazon S3 (also Dreamhost, Ceph)
   \ "s3"
 3 / Backblaze B2
   \ "b2"
 4 / Dropbox
   \ "dropbox"
 5 / Google Cloud Storage (this is not Google Drive)
   \ "google cloud storage"
 6 / Google Drive
   \ "drive"
 7 / Hubic
   \ "hubic"
 8 / Local Disk
   \ "local"
 9 / Microsoft OneDrive
   \ "onedrive"
10 / Openstack Swift (Rackspace Cloud Files, Memset Memstore, OVH)
   \ "swift"
11 / Yandex Disk
   \ "yandex"
Storage> 10
User name to log in.
user> user_name
API key or password.
key> password_or_api_key
Authentication URL for server.
Choose a number from below, or type in your own value
 1 / Rackspace US
   \ "https://auth.api.rackspacecloud.com/v1.0"
 2 / Rackspace UK
   \ "https://lon.auth.api.rackspacecloud.com/v1.0"
 3 / Rackspace v2
   \ "https://identity.api.rackspacecloud.com/v2.0"
 4 / Memset Memstore UK
   \ "https://auth.storage.memset.com/v1.0"
 5 / Memset Memstore UK v2
   \ "https://auth.storage.memset.com/v2.0"
 6 / OVH
   \ "https://auth.cloud.ovh.net/v2.0"
auth> 1
User domain - optional (v3 auth)
domain> Default
Tenant name - optional
Tenant domain - optional (v3 auth)
Region name - optional
Storage URL - optional
Remote config
AuthVersion - optional - set to (1,2,3) if your auth URL has no version
user = user_name
key = password_or_api_key
auth = https://auth.api.rackspacecloud.com/v1.0
tenant = 
region = 
storage_url = 
y) Yes this is OK
e) Edit this remote
d) Delete this remote
y/e/d> y

This remote is called remote and can now be used like this

See all containers

rclone lsd remote:

Make a new container

rclone mkdir remote:container

List the contents of a container

rclone ls remote:container

Sync /home/local/directory to the remote container, deleting any excess files in the container.

rclone sync /home/local/directory remote:container

Configuration from an Openstack credentials file

An Opentstack credentials file typically looks something something like this (without the comments)

export OS_AUTH_URL=https://a.provider.net/v2.0
export OS_TENANT_ID=ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
export OS_TENANT_NAME="1234567890123456"
export OS_USERNAME="123abc567xy"
echo "Please enter your OpenStack Password: "
if [ -z "$OS_REGION_NAME" ]; then unset OS_REGION_NAME; fi

The config file needs to look something like this where $OS_USERNAME represents the value of the OS_USERNAME variable - 123abc567xy in the example above.

type = swift
auth = $OS_AUTH_URL
tenant = $OS_TENANT_NAME

Note that you may (or may not) need to set region too - try without first.

Specific options

Here are the command line options specific to this cloud storage system.


Above this size files will be chunked into a _segments container. The default for this is 5GB which is its maximum value.

Modified time

The modified time is stored as metadata on the object as X-Object-Meta-Mtime as floating point since the epoch accurate to 1 ns.

This is a defacto standard (used in the official python-swiftclient amongst others) for storing the modification time for an object.


The Swift API doesn’t return a correct MD5SUM for segmented files (Dynamic or Static Large Objects) so rclone won’t check or use the MD5SUM for these.


Rclone gives Failed to create file system for “remote:”: Bad Request

Due to an oddity of the underlying swift library, it gives a “Bad Request” error rather than a more sensible error when the authentication fails for Swift.

So this most likely means your username / password is wrong. You can investigate further with the --dump-bodies flag.

This may also be caused by specifying the region when you shouldn’t have (eg OVH).

Rclone gives Failed to create file system: Response didn’t have storage storage url and auth token

This is most likely caused by forgetting to specify your tenant when setting up a swift remote.

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