Thursday, 28 June 2018

rclone - Cloud Storage for Raspbian and Linux

Access cloud storage, like OneDrive or Google Drive, as easily on a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian Linux) desktop as you would on a Windows PC.

1. Install rclone

In a terminal window:
curl | sudo bash
(Trust me, this is in the official installation documents)

2. Configure rclone

Run the rclone configuration wizard by typing in terminal:
rclone config
Complete the wizard. Give your remote cloud storage service an alias like 'mycloud'. Use defaults if prompted. As part of the process, it should load up a browser and get you to sign in.

3. Make a mountpoint folder

Example terminal command:
mkdir /home/pi/remote
Keep that folder empty.

4. Connect (mount) the remote as a folder 

Example terminal command:
rclone mount mycloud: /home/pi/remote
If you browse to that folder, the files on your cloud storage should appear.


  • Adding --vfs-cache-mode full to the rclone mount command will let you edit files directly on the remote drive.
  • Limitation: You cannot move folders on the remote drive.
  • rclone is very much a Swiss army knife. It caters for batch synchronisation, headless servers, business, as well as casual users who just want to access their remote files on a desktop. It supports a huge variety of cloud storage services, so setup guides make it look more difficult than it is.
  • I'm writing this because, surprisingly, there are very few guides focused on desktop use, and practically no alternative programs.
  • Uninstalling: remove /usr/bin/rclone, and /usr/local/share/man/man1/rclone.1
  • Do not install rclone from package managers. Older versions have trouble with some services, like OneDrive.
  • Background: my Windows laptop died. Rather than buy another one, I'm experimenting with other devices including a Raspberry Pi. Accessing my file clouds is essential!


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