Backing Up Files With rclone


Rclone is a tool I recently discovered that allows you to sync files to cloud-based storage. You are not limited to a single cloud destination, either. This guide is focused on installing and configuring rclone for a VPS, such as Linode or DigitalOcean.


This guide was written using a Debian 8 (jessie) install.

  1. Download rclone for your distro from their website.
  2. The creator recommends moving the binary into /usr/sbin

  3. Next, configure rclone with the storage system of your choice. Rclone supports quite a few cloud systems, visit the overview page to find the one that is best for you.
    1. I chose Google Drive to start, as Sync was not on the list.

    2. Note, I added an iptables NAT rule and edited a sysctl to authorize rclone to my Google Account from my local machine.

  4. Once setup is complete, it’s a good idea to revert the sysctl edited earlier.

  5. Review the usage documentation to familiarize yourself with the rclone syntax.
  6. In my case, I want to sync a local directory that is populated by a script that makes database backups nightly.

    1. I plan to add this as a final step to the script so offsite backups are performed automatically.


Rclone is an awesome and easy to setup tool to give you peace of mind that your files are backed up. Happy cloning!

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