First, you’ll need to configure rclone. As the object storage systems
have quite complicated authentication these are kept in a config file.
--config entry for how to find the config file and choose
The easiest way to make the config is to run rclone with the config option:
See the following for detailed instructions for
Rclone syncs a directory tree from one storage system to another.
Its syntax is like this
Syntax: [options] subcommand <parameters> <parameters...>
Source and destination paths are specified by the name you gave the storage system in the config file then the sub path, eg “drive:myfolder” to look at “myfolder” in Google drive.
You can define as many storage paths as you like in the config file.
rclone uses a system of subcommands. For example
rclone ls remote:path # lists a re rclone copy /local/path remote:path # copies /local/path to the remote rclone sync /local/path remote:path # syncs /local/path to the remote
The main rclone commands with most used first
See the commands index for the full list.
rclone normally syncs or copies directories. However, if the source
remote points to a file, rclone will just copy that file. The
destination remote must point to a directory - rclone will give the
Failed to create file system for "remote:file": is a file not a
directory if it isn’t.
For example, suppose you have a remote with a file in called
test.jpg, then you could copy just that file like this
rclone copy remote:test.jpg /tmp/download
test.jpg will be placed inside
This is equivalent to specifying
rclone copy --no-traverse --files-from /tmp/files remote: /tmp/download
/tmp/files contains the single line
It is recommended to use
copy when copying individual files, not
They have pretty much the same effect but
copy will use a lot less
When you are typing commands to your computer you are using something called the command line shell. This interprets various characters in an OS specific way.
Here are some gotchas which may help users unfamiliar with the shell rules
If your names have spaces or shell metacharacters (eg
" etc) then you must quote them. Use single quotes
' by default.
rclone copy 'Important files?' remote:backup
If you want to send a
' you will need to use
rclone copy "O'Reilly Reviews" remote:backup
The rules for quoting metacharacters are complicated and if you want the full details you’ll have to consult the manual page for your shell.
If your names have spaces in you need to put them in
rclone copy "E:\folder name\folder name\folder name" remote:backup
If you are using the root directory on its own then don’t quote it (see #464 for why), eg
rclone copy E:\ remote:backup
:in the names
: to mark a remote name. This is, however, a valid
filename component in non-Windows OSes. The remote name parser will
only search for a
: up to the first
/ so if you need to act on a
file or directory like this then use the full path starting with a
/, or use
./ as a current directory prefix.
So to sync a directory called
sync:me to a remote called
rclone sync ./sync:me remote:path
rclone sync /full/path/to/sync:me remote:path
Most remotes (but not all - see the overview) support server side copy.
This means if you want to copy one folder to another then rclone won’t download all the files and re-upload them; it will instruct the server to copy them in place.
rclone copy s3:oldbucket s3:newbucket
Will copy the contents of
downloading and re-uploading.
Remotes which don’t support server side copy will download and re-upload in this case.
Server side copies are used with
copy and will be
identified in the log when using the
-v flag. The
may also use them if remote doesn’t support server side move directly.
This is done by issuing a server side copy then a delete which is much
quicker than a download and re-upload.
Server side copies will only be attempted if the remote names are the same.
This can be used when scripting to make aged backups efficiently, eg
rclone sync remote:current-backup remote:previous-backup rclone sync /path/to/files remote:current-backup
Rclone has a number of options to control its behaviour.
Options which use TIME use the go time parser. A duration string is a possibly signed sequence of decimal numbers, each with optional fraction and a unit suffix, such as “300ms”, “-1.5h” or “2h45m”. Valid time units are “ns”, “us” (or “µs”), “ms”, “s”, “m”, “h”.
Options which use SIZE use kByte by default. However, a suffix of
k for kBytes,
M for MBytes and
G for GBytes may be
used. These are the binary units, eg 1, 2**10, 2**20, 2**30
move any files which would have been
overwritten or deleted are moved in their original hierarchy into this
--suffix is set, then the moved files will have the suffix added
to them. If there is a file with the same path (after the suffix has
been added) in DIR, then it will be overwritten.
The remote in use must support server side move or copy and you must use the same remote as the destination of the sync. The backup directory must not overlap the destination directory.
rclone sync /path/to/local remote:current --backup-dir remote:old
remote:current, but for any files
which would have been updated or deleted will be stored in
If running rclone from a script you might want to use today’s date as
the directory name passed to
--backup-dir to store the old files, or
you might want to pass
--suffix with today’s date.
Local address to bind to for outgoing connections. This can be an IPv4 address (18.104.22.168), an IPv6 address (1234::789A) or host name. If the host name doesn’t resolve or resolves to more than one IP address it will give an error.
This option controls the bandwidth limit. Limits can be specified in two ways: As a single limit, or as a timetable.
Single limits last for the duration of the session. To use a single limit,
specify the desired bandwidth in kBytes/s, or use a suffix b|k|M|G. The
0 which means to not limit bandwidth.
For example, to limit bandwidth usage to 10 MBytes/s use
It is also possible to specify a “timetable” of limits, which will cause certain limits to be applied at certain times. To specify a timetable, format your entries as “HH:MM,BANDWIDTH HH:MM,BANDWIDTH…“.
An example of a typical timetable to avoid link saturation during daytime working hours could be:
--bwlimit "08:00,512 12:00,10M 13:00,512 18:00,30M 23:00,off"
In this example, the transfer bandwidth will be set to 512kBytes/sec at 8am. At noon, it will raise to 10Mbytes/s, and drop back to 512kBytes/sec at 1pm. At 6pm, the bandwidth limit will be set to 30MBytes/s, and at 11pm it will be completely disabled (full speed). Anything between 11pm and 8am will remain unlimited.
Bandwidth limits only apply to the data transfer. They don’t apply to the bandwidth of the directory listings etc.
Note that the units are Bytes/s, not Bits/s. Typically connections are
measured in Bits/s - to convert divide by 8. For example, let’s say
you have a 10 Mbit/s connection and you wish rclone to use half of it
- 5 Mbit/s. This is 5⁄8 = 0.625MByte/s so you would use a
0.625M parameter for rclone.
On Unix systems (Linux, MacOS, …) the bandwidth limiter can be toggled by
SIGUSR2 signal to rclone. This allows to remove the limitations
of a long running rclone transfer and to restore it back to the value specified
--bwlimit quickly when needed. Assuming there is only one rclone instance
running, you can toggle the limiter like this:
kill -SIGUSR2 $(pidof rclone)
Use this sized buffer to speed up file transfers. Each
will use this much memory for buffering.
Set to 0 to disable the buffering for the minimum memory usage.
The number of checkers to run in parallel. Checkers do the equality checking of files during a sync. For some storage systems (eg S3, Swift, Dropbox) this can take a significant amount of time so they are run in parallel.
The default is to run 8 checkers in parallel.
Normally rclone will look at modification time and size of files to see if they are equal. If you set this flag then rclone will check the file hash and size to determine if files are equal.
This is useful when the remote doesn’t support setting modified time and a more accurate sync is desired than just checking the file size.
This is very useful when transferring between remotes which store the same hash type on the object, eg Drive and Swift. For details of which remotes support which hash type see the table in the overview section.
rclone --checksum sync s3:/bucket swift:/bucket would run much
quicker than without the
When using this flag, rclone won’t update mtimes of remote files if they are incorrect as it would normally.
Specify the location of the rclone config file.
Normally the config file is in your home directory as a file called
.rclone.conf if created with an
older version). If
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME is set it will be at
If you run
rclone -h and look at the help for the
you will see where the default location is for you.
Use this flag to override the config location, eg
Set the connection timeout. This should be in go time format which
5s for 5 seconds,
10m for 10 minutes, or
The connection timeout is the amount of time rclone will wait for a
connection to go through to a remote object storage system. It is
1m by default.
Mode to run dedupe command in. One of
rename. The default is
interactive. See the dedupe command for more information as to what these options mean.
This disables a comma separated list of optional features. For example to disable server side move and server side copy use:
The features can be put in in any case.
To see a list of which features can be disabled use:
This flag can be useful for debugging and in exceptional circumstances (eg Google Drive limiting the total volume of Server Side Copies to 100GB/day).
Do a trial run with no permanent changes. Use this to see what rclone
would do without actually doing it. Useful when setting up the
command which deletes files in the destination.
Normally rclone will check that the checksums of transferred files match, and give an error “corrupted on transfer” if they don’t.
You can use this option to skip that check. You should only use it if you have had the “corrupted on transfer” error message and you are sure you might want to transfer potentially corrupted data.
Using this option will make rclone unconditionally skip all files that exist on the destination, no matter the content of these files.
While this isn’t a generally recommended option, it can be useful in cases where your files change due to encryption. However, it cannot correct partial transfers in case a transfer was interrupted.
Normally rclone will look at modification time and size of files to
see if they are equal. If you set this flag then rclone will check
only the modification time. If
--checksum is set then it only
checks the checksum.
It will also cause rclone to skip verifying the sizes are the same after transfer.
This can be useful for transferring files to and from OneDrive which occasionally misreports the size of image files (see #399 for more info).
Using this option will cause rclone to unconditionally upload all files regardless of the state of files on the destination.
Normally rclone would skip any files that have the same
modification time and are the same size (or have the same checksum if
Treat source and destination files as immutable and disallow modification.
With this option set, files will be created and deleted as requested,
but existing files will never be updated. If an existing file does
not match between the source and destination, rclone will give the error
Source and destination exist but do not match: immutable file modified.
Note that only commands which transfer files (e.g.
move) are affected by this behavior, and only modification is
disallowed. Files may still be deleted explicitly (e.g.
purge) or implicitly (e.g.
if it is desired to avoid deletion as well as modification.
This can be useful as an additional layer of protection for immutable or append-only data sets (notably backup archives), where modification implies corruption and should not be propagated.
During rmdirs it will not remove root directory, even if it’s empty.
Log all of rclone’s output to FILE. This is not active by default.
This can be useful for tracking down problems with syncs in
combination with the
-v flag. See the Logging section
for more info.
This sets the log level for rclone. The default log level is
DEBUG is equivalent to
-vv. It outputs lots of debug info - useful
for bug reports and really finding out what rclone is doing.
INFO is equivalent to
-v. It outputs information about each transfer
and prints stats once a minute by default.
NOTICE is the default log level if no logging flags are supplied. It
outputs very little when things are working normally. It outputs
warnings and significant events.
ERROR is equivalent to
-q. It only outputs error messages.
This controls the number of low level retries rclone does.
A low level retry is used to retry a failing operation - typically one
HTTP request. This might be uploading a chunk of a big file for
example. You will see low level retries in the log with the
This shouldn’t need to be changed from the default in normal operations.
However, if you get a lot of low level retries you may wish
to reduce the value so rclone moves on to a high level retry (see the
--retries flag) quicker.
Disable low level retries with
This modifies the recursion depth for all the commands except purge.
So if you do
rclone --max-depth 1 ls remote:path you will see only
the files in the top level directory. Using
--max-depth 2 means you
will see all the files in first two directory levels and so on.
For historical reasons the
lsd command defaults to using a
--max-depth of 1 - you can override this with the command line flag.
You can use this command to disable recursion (with
Note that if you use this with
files not recursed through are considered excluded and will be deleted
on the destination. Test first with
--dry-run if you are not sure
what will happen.
When checking whether a file has been modified, this is the maximum allowed time difference that a file can have and still be considered equivalent.
The default is
1ns unless this is overridden by a remote. For
example OS X only stores modification times to the nearest second so
if you are reading and writing to an OS X filing system this will be
1s by default.
This command line flag allows you to override that computed default.
Accept-Encoding: gzip. This means that rclone won’t ask
the server for compressed files automatically. Useful if you’ve set
the server to return files with
Content-Encoding: gzip but you
uploaded compressed files.
There is no need to set this in normal operation, and doing so will decrease the network transfer efficiency of rclone.
When using this flag, rclone won’t update modification times of remote files if they are incorrect as it would normally.
This can be used if the remote is being synced with another tool also (eg the Google Drive client).
Normally rclone outputs stats and a completion message. If you set this flag it will make as little output as possible.
Retry the entire sync if it fails this many times it fails (default 3).
Some remotes can be unreliable and a few retries help pick up the files which didn’t get transferred because of errors.
Disable retries with
Normally rclone will look at modification time and size of files to see if they are equal. If you set this flag then rclone will check only the size.
This can be useful transferring files from Dropbox which have been modified by the desktop sync client which doesn’t set checksums of modification times in the same way as rclone.
Commands which transfer data (
moveto) will print data transfer stats at regular intervals to show
This sets the interval.
The default is
1m. Use 0 to disable.
If you set the stats interval then all commands can show stats. This
can be useful when running other commands,
Stats are logged at
INFO level by default which means they won’t
show at default log level
--stats-log-level NOTICE or
-v to make them show. See the Logging section for more
info on log levels.
Log level to show
--stats output at. This can be
ERROR. The default is
INFO. This means at the
default level of logging which is
NOTICE the stats won’t show - if
you want them to then use
-stats-log-level NOTICE. See the Logging
section for more info on log levels.
By default, data transfer rates will be printed in bytes/second.
This option allows the data rate to be printed in bits/second.
Data transfer volume will still be reported in bytes.
The rate is reported as a binary unit, not SI unit. So 1 Mbit/s equals 1,048,576 bits/s and not 1,000,000 bits/s.
The default is
This is for use with
--backup-dir only. If this isn’t set then
--backup-dir will move files with their original name. If it is set
then the files will have SUFFIX added on to them.
--backup-dir for more info.
On capable OSes (not Windows or Plan9) send all log output to syslog.
This can be useful for running rclone in a script or
--syslog this sets the syslog facility (eg
man syslog for a list of possible facilities. The default
Limit HTTP transactions per second to this. Default is 0 which is used to mean unlimited transactions per second.
For example to limit rclone to 10 HTTP transactions per second use
--tpslimit 10, or to 1 transaction every 2 seconds use
Use this when the number of transactions per second from rclone is causing a problem with the cloud storage provider (eg getting you banned or rate limited).
This can be very useful for
rclone mount to control the behaviour of
applications using it.
Max burst of transactions for
--tpslimit. (default 1)
--tpslimit will do exactly the number of transaction per
second specified. However if you supply
--tps-burst then rclone can
save up some transactions from when it was idle giving a burst of up
to the parameter supplied.
For example if you provide
--tpslimit-burst 10 then if rclone has
been idle for more than 10*
--tpslimit then it can do 10 transactions
very quickly before they are limited again.
This may be used to increase performance of
changing the long term average number of transactions per second.
By default, rclone doesn’t keep track of renamed files, so if you rename a file locally then sync it to a remote, rclone will delete the old file on the remote and upload a new copy.
If you use this flag, and the remote supports server side copy or
server side move, and the source and destination have a compatible
hash, then this will track renames during
operations and perform renaming server-side.
Files will be matched by size and hash - if both match then a rename will be considered.
If the destination does not support server-side copy or move, rclone will fall back to the default behaviour and log an error level message to the console.
--track-renames is incompatible with
that it uses extra memory to keep track of all the rename candidates.
Note also that
--track-renames is incompatible with
--delete-before and will select
--delete-after instead of
This option allows you to specify when files on your destination are deleted when you sync folders.
Specifying the value
--delete-before will delete all files present
on the destination, but not on the source before starting the
transfer of any new or updated files. This uses two passes through the
file systems, one for the deletions and one for the copies.
--delete-during will delete files while checking and
uploading files. This is the fastest option and uses the least memory.
--delete-after (the default value) will delay deletion of
files until all new/updated files have been successfully transferred.
The files to be deleted are collected in the copy pass then deleted
after the copy pass has completed successfully. The files to be
deleted are held in memory so this mode may use more memory. This is
the safest mode as it will only delete files if there have been no
errors subsequent to that. If there have been errors before the
deletions start then you will get the message
not deleting files as
there were IO errors.
When doing anything which involves a directory listing (eg
ls - in fact nearly every command), rclone normally lists a
directory and processes it before using more directory lists to
process any subdirectories. This can be parallelised and works very
quickly using the least amount of memory.
However, some remotes have a way of listing all files beneath a directory in one (or a small number) of transactions. These tend to be the bucket based remotes (eg S3, B2, GCS, Swift, Hubic).
If you use the
--fast-list flag then rclone will use this method for
listing directories. This will have the following consequences for
rclone should always give identical results with and without
If you pay for transactions and can fit your entire sync listing into
--fast-list is recommended. If you have a very big sync
to do then don’t use
--fast-list otherwise you will run out of
If you use
--fast-list on a remote which doesn’t support it, then
rclone will just ignore it.
This sets the IO idle timeout. If a transfer has started but then becomes idle for this long it is considered broken and disconnected.
The default is
5m. Set to 0 to disable.
The number of file transfers to run in parallel. It can sometimes be useful to set this to a smaller number if the remote is giving a lot of timeouts or bigger if you have lots of bandwidth and a fast remote.
The default is to run 4 file transfers in parallel.
This forces rclone to skip any files which exist on the destination and have a modified time that is newer than the source file.
If an existing destination file has a modification time equal (within the computed modify window precision) to the source file’s, it will be updated if the sizes are different.
On remotes which don’t support mod time directly the time checked will be the uploaded time. This means that if uploading to one of these remotes, rclone will skip any files which exist on the destination and have an uploaded time that is newer than the modification time of the source file.
This can be useful when transferring to a remote which doesn’t support
mod times directly as it is more accurate than a
and faster than using
-v rclone will tell you about each file that is transferred and
a small number of significant events.
-vv rclone will become very verbose telling you about every
file it considers and transfers. Please send bug reports with a log
with this setting.
Prints the version number
Your configuration file contains information for logging in to
your cloud services. This means that you should keep your
.rclone.conf file in a secure location.
If you are in an environment where that isn’t possible, you can add a password to your configuration. This means that you will have to enter the password every time you start rclone.
To add a password to your rclone configuration, execute
>rclone config Current remotes: e) Edit existing remote n) New remote d) Delete remote s) Set configuration password q) Quit config e/n/d/s/q>
s, Set configuration password:
e/n/d/s/q> s Your configuration is not encrypted. If you add a password, you will protect your login information to cloud services. a) Add Password q) Quit to main menu a/q> a Enter NEW configuration password: password: Confirm NEW password: password: Password set Your configuration is encrypted. c) Change Password u) Unencrypt configuration q) Quit to main menu c/u/q>
Your configuration is now encrypted, and every time you start rclone you will now be asked for the password. In the same menu, you can change the password or completely remove encryption from your configuration.
There is no way to recover the configuration if you lose your password.
rclone uses nacl secretbox which in turn uses XSalsa20 and Poly1305 to encrypt and authenticate your configuration with secret-key cryptography. The password is SHA-256 hashed, which produces the key for secretbox. The hashed password is not stored.
While this provides very good security, we do not recommend storing your encrypted rclone configuration in public if it contains sensitive information, maybe except if you use a very strong password.
If it is safe in your environment, you can set the
environment variable to contain your password, in which case it will be
used for decrypting the configuration.
You can set this for a session from a script. For unix like systems
save this to a file called
#!/bin/echo Source this file don't run it read -s RCLONE_CONFIG_PASS export RCLONE_CONFIG_PASS
Then source the file when you want to use it. From the shell you
source set-rclone-password. It will then ask you for the
password and set it in the environment variable.
If you are running rclone inside a script, you might want to disable
password prompts. To do that, pass the parameter
--ask-password=false to rclone. This will make rclone fail instead
of asking for a password if
RCLONE_CONFIG_PASS doesn’t contain
a valid password.
These options are useful when developing or debugging rclone. There
are also some more remote specific options which aren’t documented
here which are used for testing. These start with remote name eg
--drive-test-option - see the docs for the remote in question.
Write CPU profile to file. This can be analysed with
go tool pprof.
--dump flag takes a comma separated list of flags to dump info
about. These are:
Dump HTTP headers with
Authorization: lines removed. May still
contain sensitive info. Can be very verbose. Useful for debugging
--dump auth if you do want the
Dump HTTP headers and bodies - may contain sensitive info. Can be very verbose. Useful for debugging only.
Note that the bodies are buffered in memory so don’t use this for enormous files.
--dump bodies but dumps the request bodies and the response
headers. Useful for debugging download problems.
--dump bodies but dumps the response bodies and the request
headers. Useful for debugging upload problems.
Dump HTTP headers - will contain sensitive info such as
Authorization: headers - use
--dump headers to dump without
Authorization: headers. Can be very verbose. Useful for debugging
Dump the filters to the output. Useful to see exactly what include and exclude options are filtering on.
Write memory profile to file. This can be analysed with
go tool pprof.
--no-check-certificate controls whether a client verifies the
server’s certificate chain and host name.
--no-check-certificate is true, TLS accepts any certificate
presented by the server and any host name in that certificate.
In this mode, TLS is susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.
This option defaults to
This should be used only for testing.
--no-traverse flag controls whether the destination file system
is traversed when using the
--no-traverse is not compatible with
sync and will be ignored if
you supply it with
If you are only copying a small number of files and/or have a large
number of files on the destination then
--no-traverse will stop
rclone listing the destination and save time.
However, if you are copying a large number of files, especially if you
are doing a copy where lots of the files haven’t changed and won’t
need copying then you shouldn’t use
It can also be used to reduce the memory usage of rclone when copying
rclone --no-traverse copy src dst won’t load either the source or
destination listings into memory so will use the minimum amount of
For the filtering options
See the filtering section.
rclone has 4 levels of logging,
By default, rclone logs to standard error. This means you can redirect
standard error and still see the normal output of rclone commands (eg
By default, rclone will produce
Notice level messages.
If you use the
-q flag, rclone will only produce
If you use the
-v flag, rclone will produce
If you use the
-vv flag, rclone will produce
You can also control the log levels with the
If you use the
--log-file=FILE option, rclone will redirect
Debug messages along with standard error to FILE.
If you use the
--syslog flag then rclone will log to syslog and the
--syslog-facility control which facility it uses.
Rclone prefixes all log messages with their level in capitals, eg INFO which makes it easy to grep the log file for different kinds of information.
If any errors occur during the command execution, rclone will exit with a non-zero exit code. This allows scripts to detect when rclone operations have failed.
During the startup phase, rclone will exit immediately if an error is detected in the configuration. There will always be a log message immediately before exiting.
When rclone is running it will accumulate errors as it goes along, and
only exit with a non-zero exit code if (after retries) there were
still failed transfers. For every error counted there will be a high
priority log message (visible with
-q) showing the message and
which file caused the problem. A high priority message is also shown
when starting a retry so the user can see that any previous error
messages may not be valid after the retry. If rclone has done a retry
it will log a high priority message if the retry was successful.
1- Syntax or usage error
2- Error not otherwise categorised
3- Directory not found
4- File not found
5- Temporary error (one that more retries might fix) (Retry errors)
6- Less serious errors (like 461 errors from dropbox) (NoRetry errors)
7- Fatal error (one that more retries won’t fix, like account suspended) (Fatal errors)
Rclone can be configured entirely using environment variables. These can be used to set defaults for options or config file entries.
Every option in rclone can have its default set by environment variable.
To find the name of the environment variable, first, take the long
option name, strip the leading
upper case and prepend
For example, to always set
--stats 5s, set the environment variable
RCLONE_STATS=5s. If you set stats on the command line this will
override the environment variable setting.
Or to always use the trash in drive
The same parser is used for the options and the environment variables so they take exactly the same form.
You can set defaults for values in the config file on an individual
remote basis. If you want to use this feature, you will need to
discover the name of the config items that you want. The easiest way
is to run through
rclone config by hand, then look in the config
file to see what the values are (the config file can be found by
looking at the help for
To find the name of the environment variable, you need to set, take
RCLONE_CONFIG_ + name of remote +
_ + name of config file option
and make it all uppercase.
For example, to configure an S3 remote named
mys3: without a config
file (using unix ways of setting environment variables):
$ export RCLONE_CONFIG_MYS3_TYPE=s3 $ export RCLONE_CONFIG_MYS3_ACCESS_KEY_ID=XXX $ export RCLONE_CONFIG_MYS3_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=XXX $ rclone lsd MYS3: -1 2016-09-21 12:54:21 -1 my-bucket $ rclone listremotes | grep mys3 mys3:
Note that if you want to create a remote using environment variables
you must create the
..._TYPE variable as above.