chunker overlay transparently splits large files into smaller chunks
during upload to wrapped remote and transparently assembles them back
when the file is downloaded. This allows to effectively overcome size limits
imposed by storage providers.
To use it, first set up the underlying remote following the configuration instructions for that remote. You can also use a local pathname instead of a remote.
First check your chosen remote is working - we’ll call it
Note that anything inside
remote:path will be chunked and anything outside
won’t. This means that if you are using a bucket based remote (eg S3, B2, swift)
then you should probably put the bucket in the remote
rclone config. We will call this one
to separate it from the
No remotes found - make a new one n) New remote s) Set configuration password q) Quit config n/s/q> n name> overlay Type of storage to configure. Choose a number from below, or type in your own value [snip] XX / Transparently chunk/split large files \ "chunker" [snip] Storage> chunker Remote to chunk/unchunk. Normally should contain a ':' and a path, eg "myremote:path/to/dir", "myremote:bucket" or maybe "myremote:" (not recommended). Enter a string value. Press Enter for the default (""). remote> remote:path Files larger than chunk size will be split in chunks. Enter a size with suffix k,M,G,T. Press Enter for the default ("2G"). chunk_size> 100M Choose how chunker handles hash sums. All modes but "none" require metadata. Enter a string value. Press Enter for the default ("md5"). Choose a number from below, or type in your own value 1 / Pass any hash supported by wrapped remote for non-chunked files, return nothing otherwise \ "none" 2 / MD5 for composite files \ "md5" 3 / SHA1 for composite files \ "sha1" 4 / MD5 for all files \ "md5all" 5 / SHA1 for all files \ "sha1all" 6 / Copying a file to chunker will request MD5 from the source falling back to SHA1 if unsupported \ "md5quick" 7 / Similar to "md5quick" but prefers SHA1 over MD5 \ "sha1quick" hash_type> md5 Edit advanced config? (y/n) y) Yes n) No y/n> n Remote config -------------------- [overlay] type = chunker remote = remote:bucket chunk_size = 100M hash_type = md5 -------------------- y) Yes this is OK e) Edit this remote d) Delete this remote y/e/d> y
In normal use, make sure the remote has a
: in. If you specify the remote
: then rclone will use a local directory of that name.
So if you use a remote of
/path/to/secret/files then rclone will
chunk stuff in that directory. If you use a remote of
name then rclone
will put files in a directory called
name in the current directory.
When rclone starts a file upload, chunker checks the file size. If it doesn’t exceed the configured chunk size, chunker will just pass the file to the wrapped remote. If a file is large, chunker will transparently cut data in pieces with temporary names and stream them one by one, on the fly. Each data chunk will contain the specified number of bytes, except for the last one which may have less data. If file size is unknown in advance (this is called a streaming upload), chunker will internally create a temporary copy, record its size and repeat the above process.
When upload completes, temporary chunk files are finally renamed. This scheme guarantees that operations can be run in parallel and look from outside as atomic. A similar method with hidden temporary chunks is used for other operations (copy/move/rename etc). If an operation fails, hidden chunks are normally destroyed, and the target composite file stays intact.
When a composite file download is requested, chunker transparently assembles it by concatenating data chunks in order. As the split is trivial one could even manually concatenate data chunks together to obtain the original content.
list rclone command scans a directory on wrapped remote,
the potential chunk files are accounted for, grouped and assembled into
composite directory entries. Any temporary chunks are hidden.
List and other commands can sometimes come across composite files with
missing or invalid chunks, eg. shadowed by like-named directory or
another file. This usually means that wrapped file system has been directly
tampered with or damaged. If chunker detects a missing chunk it will
by default print warning, skip the whole incomplete group of chunks but
proceed with current command.
You can set the
--chunker-fail-hard flag to have commands abort with
error message in such cases.
The default chunk name format is
*.rclone_chunk.###, hence by default
chunk names are
BIG_FILE_NAME.rclone_chunk.002 etc. You can configure another name format
name_format configuration file option. The format uses asterisk
* as a placeholder for the base file name and one or more consecutive
# as a placeholder for sequential chunk number.
There must be one and only one asterisk. The number of consecutive hash
characters defines the minimum length of a string representing a chunk number.
If decimal chunk number has less digits than the number of hashes, it is
left-padded by zeros. If the decimal string is longer, it is left intact.
By default numbering starts from 1 but there is another option that allows
user to start from 0, eg. for compatibility with legacy software.
For example, if name format is
big_*-##.part and original file name is
data.txt and numbering starts from 0, then the first chunk will be named
big_data.txt-00.part, the 99th chunk will be
and the 302nd chunk will become
list assembles composite directory entries only when chunk names
match the configured format and treats non-conforming file names as normal
Besides data chunks chunker will by default create metadata object for
a composite file. The object is named after the original file.
Chunker allows user to disable metadata completely (the
Note that metadata is normally not created for files smaller than the
configured chunk size. This may change in future rclone releases.
This is the default format. It supports hash sums and chunk validation for composite files. Meta objects carry the following fields:
ver- version of format, currently
size- total size of composite file
nchunks- number of data chunks in file
md5- MD5 hashsum of composite file (if present)
sha1- SHA1 hashsum (if present)
There is no field for composite file name as it’s simply equal to the name of meta object on the wrapped remote. Please refer to respective sections for details on hashsums and modified time handling.
You can disable meta objects by setting the meta format option to
In this mode chunker will scan directory for all files that follow
configured chunk name format, group them by detecting chunks with the same
base name and show group names as virtual composite files.
This method is more prone to missing chunk errors (especially missing
last chunk) than format with metadata enabled.
Chunker supports hashsums only when a compatible metadata is present.
Hence, if you choose metadata format of
none, chunker will report hashsum
Please note that by default metadata is stored only for composite files. If a file is smaller than configured chunk size, chunker will transparently redirect hash requests to wrapped remote, so support depends on that. You will see the empty string as a hashsum of requested type for small files if the wrapped remote doesn’t support it.
Many storage backends support MD5 and SHA1 hash types, so does chunker. With chunker you can choose one or another but not both. MD5 is set by default as the most supported type. Since chunker keeps hashes for composite files and falls back to the wrapped remote hash for non-chunked ones, we advise you to choose the same hash type as supported by wrapped remote so that your file listings look coherent.
If your storage backend does not support MD5 or SHA1 but you need consistent
file hashing, configure chunker with
sha1all. These two modes
guarantee given hash for all files. If wrapped remote doesn’t support it,
chunker will then add metadata to all files, even small. However, this can
double the amount of small files in storage and incur additional service charges.
You can even use chunker to force md5/sha1 support in any other remote
at expence of sidecar meta objects by setting eg.
to force hashsums and
chunk_size=1P to effectively disable chunking.
Normally, when a file is copied to chunker controlled remote, chunker
will ask the file source for compatible file hash and revert to on-the-fly
calculation if none is found. This involves some CPU overhead but provides
a guarantee that given hashsum is available. Also, chunker will reject
a server-side copy or move operation if source and destination hashsum
types are different resulting in the extra network bandwidth, too.
In some rare cases this may be undesired, so chunker provides two optional
md5quick. If the source does not support primary
hash type and the quick mode is enabled, chunker will try to fall back to
the secondary type. This will save CPU and bandwidth but can result in empty
hashsums at destination. Beware of consequences: the
sync command will
revert (sometimes silently) to time/size comparison if compatible hashsums
between source and target are not found.
Chunker stores modification times using the wrapped remote so support
depends on that. For a small non-chunked file the chunker overlay simply
manipulates modification time of the wrapped remote file.
For a composite file with metadata chunker will get and set
modification time of the metadata object on the wrapped remote.
If file is chunked but metadata format is
none then chunker will
use modification time of the first data chunk.
The idiomatic way to migrate to a different chunk size, hash type or chunk naming scheme is to:
rclone sync oldchunks: newchunks:and all your data will be transparently converted in transfer. This may take some time, yet chunker will try server-side copy if possible.
If rclone gets killed during a long operation on a big composite file,
hidden temporary chunks may stay in the directory. They will not be
shown by the
list command but will eat up your account quota.
Please note that the
deletefile command deletes only active
chunks of a file. As a workaround, you can use remote of the wrapped
file system to see them.
An easy way to get rid of hidden garbage is to copy littered directory
somewhere using the chunker remote and purge the original directory.
copy command will copy only active chunks while the
remove everything including garbage.
Chunker requires wrapped remote to support server side
delete) operations, otherwise it will explicitly refuse to start.
This is because it internally renames temporary chunk files to their final
names when an operation completes successfully.
Chunker encodes chunk number in file name, so with default
setting it adds 17 characters. Also chunker adds 7 characters of temporary
suffix during operations. Many file systems limit base file name without path
by 255 characters. Using rclone’s crypt remote as a base file system limits
file name by 143 characters. Thus, maximum name length is 231 for most files
and 119 for chunker-over-crypt. A user in need can change name format to
*.rcc## and save 10 characters (provided at most 99 chunks per file).
Note that a move implemented using the copy-and-delete method may incur double charging with some cloud storage providers.
Chunker will not automatically rename existing chunks when you run
rclone config on a live remote and change the chunk name format.
Beware that in result of this some files which have been treated as chunks
before the change can pop up in directory listings as normal files
and vice versa. The same warning holds for the chunk size.
If you desperately need to change critical chunking setings, you should
run data migration as described above.
If wrapped remote is case insensitive, the chunker overlay will inherit that property (so you can’t have a file called “Hello.doc” and “hello.doc” in the same directory).
Here are the standard options specific to chunker (Transparently chunk/split large files).
Remote to chunk/unchunk. Normally should contain a ‘:’ and a path, eg “myremote:path/to/dir”, “myremote:bucket” or maybe “myremote:” (not recommended).
Files larger than chunk size will be split in chunks.
Choose how chunker handles hash sums. All modes but “none” require metadata.
Here are the advanced options specific to chunker (Transparently chunk/split large files).
String format of chunk file names. The two placeholders are: base file name (*) and chunk number (#…). There must be one and only one asterisk and one or more consecutive hash characters. If chunk number has less digits than the number of hashes, it is left-padded by zeros. If there are more digits in the number, they are left as is. Possible chunk files are ignored if their name does not match given format.
Minimum valid chunk number. Usually 0 or 1. By default chunk numbers start from 1.
Format of the metadata object or “none”. By default “simplejson”. Metadata is a small JSON file named after the composite file.
Choose how chunker should handle files with missing or invalid chunks.