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cloud storage

There are command line tools available for synchronizing files from / to cloud storage services, but they usually only support one service. Like Grive2 for Google Drive, the official Yandex.Disk console client, Dropbox Uploader, and so on.

But what about synchronizing files and folders from or to multiple cloud storage services? For such cases, you can use Rclone, a Rsync-like program for cloud storage.

Rclone can synchronize files and directories between Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Openstack Swift / Rackspace cloud files / Memset Memstore, Hubic, Yandex Disk, and Backblaze B2.

The synchronization can be done either directly between these services, or to / from your local filesystem.

The tool is useful for backup purposes, but it can also be used as a solution for cases in which there's no official sync client available on a certain platform (either GUI, command line, or both, like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive on Linux).

Although, for the latter, it's important to mention that there's no real-time file monitoring, and the synchronization only happens on demand (you must run it manually or via a script, etc.).

Rclone features:
  • MD5/SHA1 hashes checked at all times for file integrity;
  • timestamps preserved on files;
  • partial syncs supported on a whole file basis;
  • copy mode to just copy new/changed files;
  • sync (one way) mode to make a directory identical;
  • check mode to check for file hash equality;
  • can sync to and from network, eg two different cloud accounts;
  • is available for Linux, Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Plan 9 and Solaris.

Besides being able to synchronize files and folders, Rclone can list remote objects, display the size of remote objects, create, remove, and delete remote objects, and dedupe (find duplicates and offers to delete all but one or rename them).

There are also options to limit the bandwidth, set the connection timeout, and much more. Check out the Rclone docs for more information.

Rclone seems pretty fast too. As an example, I did a quick test and Rclone was able to upload a 141 MB / 52 items folder to Google Drive in about 23 seconds, while Grive2 took about 64 seconds for the same folder, with a second test being roughly the same. Copying the same folder from Google Drive to Dropbox took about 40 seconds.

This can depend on multiple factors, like the Internet connection fluctuating, server load, and so on, so don't take my word for it and give it a try.

The Rclone webpage provides extensive documentation for how to use it, including how to authenticate it with each cloud storage service, so I won't get into details about this here. See rclone.org for more information.


Download Rclone


Download Rclone | The source code can be found on GitHub.

For how to install Rclone, either from source or using the Linux binary, see THIS page.

seen @ Korben