How to Use Rclone to Sync Files to Linode Object Storage
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What is Rclone?
Rclone is a command-line tool for syncing files to remote services. A GUI called Rclone Browser is also available. Rclone works with over 40 services like Dropbox, FTP, Google Drive, HTTP, OneDrive, Nextcloud, ownCloud, pCloud, WebDAV, and Linode.
Rclone is used to backup and sync files and includes cloud equivalents to Linux commands like
cat. Rclone helps you to backup, restore, mirror, migrate, mount, analyze, and unify your data, and file systems. You can transfer, copy, sync, move, check, mount, and even serve local, or remote files over HTTP, WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, and DLNA.
This tutorial shows you how to use Rclone to sync your files to a Linode Object Storage Bucket. The steps in this guide can be followed on an Ubuntu 20.04 system and a macOS system.
Rclone vs Rsync
For years, rsync has been the go-to backup and sync command-line tool for Linux. With that in mind, why would you make the switch to Rclone? Although Rsync is a great tool for local and LAN-based backup and sync, it doesn’t have the built-in capacity to work with cloud storage providers. It is possible to mount your cloud storage service to a local drive and then use Rsync to backup files, but without the help of another tool, you’re out of luck. That’s where Rclone comes into play since it was built to work with cloud services. This guide shows you how to install and use Rclone.
Download and Install Rclone on Linux and macOS
The Rclone installation process is the same on Linux and macOS. Log into either platform and open a terminal window. From the terminal, issue the following command:
curl https://rclone.org/install.sh | sudo bash
To install cURL on an Ubuntu system, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install curl -y
To install cURL on a macOS system use the following command:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)" < /dev/null 2> /dev/null brew install curl
Verify the Rclone installation.
You should see the version of Rclone installed, as well as some information about the platform on which it was installed.
Before you configure Rclone, create a new Linode bucket and then generate an associated Access Key for that bucket. You can also create a new access key for an existing bucket. When you create an access key, you are given the Access Key and the Secret Key. Make sure to copy both of those strings, because you need them when configuring Rclone.
Once you have created the Linode bucket and have the access keys, set up a new configuration with the following command:
When prompted, configure a New Remote by typing n.
Use a human-readable name as the configuration name.
Then, select your cloud storage service. In this case, select AWS S3 Compliant Storage Provider (option 4), followed by selecting any other S3 compatible provider (option 14).
Get AWS credentials. For this step, type
2and then type your Access Key string (for
access_key_id) and then paste your Secret Key for
For the endpoint, type the address for your Linode bucket, such as
aclyou’d like to use. If this is a personal bucket, type
1for private. If this is a team bucket, you might select
public-read(option 2) or
Hit enter to opt-out of editing the advanced configuration file.
Verify the configuration and, if it is correct, type y to save the options.
Type q to quit the configuration tool.
You can sync a local directory to your Linode storage bucket. To do that, create a new bucket using the command below. The example command names the bucket
test and the remote is named
Linode. Replace these names with your own.
rclone mkdir Linode:test
When you open your Linode cloud manager, you now see a
test object in your bucket.
When you want to sync your local
Documents directory to that remote test object use the following command:
rclone sync Documents Linode:test
Once the sync is complete, you now see all of the files in the local
Documents directory, in your Linode Object Storage bucket.
rclone copy command copies the source to the destination but does not copy files from the destination to the source. Say you have a file named
testing.txt and you want to copy it to the
test bucket on your Linode Object Storage “remote”. You can use the following command to accomplish this:
rclone copy testing Linode:test
Check out your
test bucket and you now see the
testing.txt file added.
You can also mount a local directory to a Linode Object Storage bucket. The one caveat to this is that the local directory must be empty. You should also know that the
rclone mount command does take a long time to complete. It’s a known issue that writes to
rclone mount are extremely slow. Because of this, your best bet is to use the
rclone sync command instead. However, if you still want to mount a directory, the command is straightforward. To mount the local directory,
/home/example-user/LINODE to a bucket named
DATA on the Linode remote, use the following command:
rclone mount Linode:DATA /home/example-user/LINODE
Once the directory is mounted, dump all of the necessary files into the local source and they are synced with the remote destination.
The command covered in this guide give you all the basics you need to use Rclone to sync and backup files to your Linode Object Storage buckets.
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