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Rclone is rsync for cloud storage and I wanted to use it because it includes WebDav as one of the protocols it can access. There are about twenty others. It is quite cool. You can run it to sync to everything from Alibaba Cloud to Yandex Disk.

In my case I wanted to use it to sync to a Nextcloud installation on my home server setup.

The first problem I ran into was after installing rclone on the server. The version in the package repos is so old it doesn’t include WebDav so I installed it from the website.

curl | sudo bash

After it is installed you run,

rclone config

which creates a configuration file for you. Basically it asks what you want to call your configuration, what protocol you want to use, the URL to use (insert WebDav URL), username, password, etc…It is all fairly straight forwards.

After that, instead of having to to enter the information in all the time you can just type in Konsole,

rclone copy <sourcepath> <configname>:<destinationpath>

Which in English would say use rclone to copy the contents of the sourcepath using the information contained in configname to the desinationpath.

My destination path was basically a folder called Backup. This was created as it didn’t exist and rsync happily continues to update it. Be aware there are other commands than copy. For instance sync updates the contents of the folder and deletes files that no longer exist at the source. To continue to keep my Linux laptop backed up I created a shell script to execute,

rclone sync /archive/Archive mbs:Backup

on login using KDE’s Autostart. The Mac was slightly more complex.


Unfortunately the whole effort never worked out and in the end it was easier, in my use case, to use the Nextcloud Client to back everything up. The problem was that Rclone never completed and never stopped. I left it for days in the end and it never completed the mission even on the 50GB from the Mac.