a command line tool for cloud backups

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Rclone is a command line tool for synchronizing folders and documents with any of the cloud services existing ones like Amazon Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. It is an open source solution available on GitHub and which works on linux as well as on macOS and Windows in graphical interface version.

For those in the know and those who work in a Linux environment, Rclone is very similar to Rsync and does the same, i.e. remote synchronization of files between two servers for the sole purpose of backing up and transferring data.

What interests us in this tool it is the possibility of back up files and folders on any cloud service as well as locally while ensuring security, encryption and data encryption. And without forgetting the backup on our own servers via Transfer protocols such as FTP, SFTP, WebDAV and http.

The installation of the command line tool is not complicated and its use is very easy if you are used to Linux commands, otherwise there is also the utility in browser mode called Rclone Browser, a GUI, an interface which uses QT5 in its design and development and which is also available for download for the various operating systems: macOS, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD.

Download Rclone Browser

NB: If you are interested, we can write a little how-to around Rclone Browser, its installation, its configuration and how to use it and take advantage of all its features. But today we focus in this article only on Rclone as a command line tool for Linux to backup documents and files to the cloud.

To install it on Linux, just use your terminal to retrieve and run the installation script by typing this command:

curl https://rclone.org/install.sh | sudo bash

To configure it, type this command in your terminal:

rclone config 

Following this command, rclone launches in the terminal and offers you 3 options:

2019/05/09 12:43:30 NOTICE: Config file "/home//.config/rclone/rclone.conf" not found - using defaults
No remotes found - make a new one
n) New remote
s) Set configuration password
q) Quit config

n/s/q> n

So to configure your first cloud service for backups, type the letter “n” in the console and give a name to this new service to remote (in my case: OneDrive).

Name > <YOUR NAME>

The tool will then display a whole numbered list of cloud services that you can configure for your backups. Enter the number corresponding to the chosen service.

Finally, all you have to do is enter the login and password of your cloud service to finish the configuration.

Now, to upload your documents and files to the cloud service, type this command and replacing servername with the name of your service (In our case: OneDrive):

rclone copy monfichier.zip nomduservice:

And you can also specify the path after the “:” if you want to save the files to a folder in your cloud:

rclone copy monfichier.zip nomduservice:/monrepertoir/

Here, after this command, you can verify on your cloud that the files are well transferred to the cloud.

Warning, the files are sent to the cloud service in question in clear, if you want to encrypt and encrypt the transfers with Rclone, restart the program with the rclone config command then type the letter “n” to configure a new “remote” but of type “Crypt For data encryption.

the command line tool will then ask you which cloud service to use, then where you want to store the files (the path) and finally the level of file name encryption (standard, simple or obfuscation).

As for the encryption key, it will be saved in the Rclone config file.

Now you can safely type your transfer order:

rclone copy monfichier.zip nomduservice:

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