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How to use RClone to backup your data to cloud drives/storages

Published at  at 03:55 PM

As is well known, unRAID, as one of the most popular home NAS systems, does not provide remote disaster recovery capabilities (the last item in the 3-2-1 backup principle). As data in the NAS becomes more and more abundant and applications become increasingly complex, I am increasingly concerned about how to recover if all NAS hardware fails due to force majeure (earthquakes, floods, fires, theft, etc.). In order to ensure that data is absolutely safe, today let’s talk about remote disaster recovery.

Today we’re taking about RClone :

Rclone is a command-line program to manage files on cloud storage. It is a feature-rich alternative to cloud vendors’ web storage interfaces. Over 70 cloud storage products support rclone including S3 object stores, business & consumer file storage services, as well as standard transfer protocols.

In simple terms, RClone is a command-line tool for syncing online drives. It supports over 40 types of online drives. Today I will introduce the simple configuration of commonly seen domestic Alibaba Cloud Drive and OSS.

Installing RClone

Side note: The first time I installed it, I used the Docker version with a built-in GUI. However, after exploring the GUI for a while, I couldn’t find the sync feature I was looking for. At the same time, as I was reading the official documentation, I gradually realized that this is a command-line tool. So, I switched to the unRAID plugin version because what I needed was almost a complete backup of all data on my Nas. It seemed unnecessary to open all directories to Docker containers if that were the case.

In the unRAID backend’s APPS tab, search for rclone and then click on Plugins on the left side to filter out plugin versions. Click Actions to install:


After installation is completed, run the command rclone version to confirm whether it has been successfully installed or go to Settings > User Utilities > rclone panel and check:



A faster way to configure is to go directly to Settings > User Utilities > rclone, paste the configuration into the configuration file, and refer to the content of the configuration file below.

Using command line for configuration provides finer granularity, which is also a method provided in the official documentation: executing rclone config will pop up an interactive terminal session. According to the prompts, enter “n” to create a new configuration, and then follow the prompts to input further details.


OSS configuration is very simple. For comparison with cloud storage, please refer to the official website. I believe it is more suitable for backup than cloud storage.

Configuration file content:

type = s3
provider = Alibaba
access_key_id = xxx
secret_access_key = xxx
endpoint =
acl = private

Configurate it with tips:

# Remote connection name
name> oss
# Storage type, either by entering the corresponding numeric number or by entering the known type directly
Storage> s3
# Authentication, select false or just enter to skip it
# Next up is the familiar AK field
# You don't need to fill it out, just leave the permissions to AliCloud.
# The stuff behind isn't important, just press enter all the way.

The next step is to execute rclone config and you will be able to see the remote connection that was just configured.

Current remotes:
Name                 Type
====                 ====
oss                  s3

The command rclone lsd oss: is used to test the connection.

The meaning of lsd is to list directories, and oss: is in the format of remote connection name: path, with an empty path indicating the root directory.

-1 2022-08-07 11:36:13        -1 unraid # This is the name of the bucket, you need to create it yourself

Common commands

A brief demonstration:

# Copy local /mnt/user/Public to remote /unraid/Public, existing files will be skipped.
rclone copy /mnt/user/Public remote:/unraid/Public

# Move the local /mnt/user/file to the remote /unraid/ directory.
rclone move /mnt/user/file remote:/unraid/file

# Make remote /unraid/Public consistent with local /mnt/user/Public and will not modify local files
rclone sync /mnt/user/Public remote:/unraid/Public

The important thing to note is that there are two synchronization commands:

sync is a one-way sync, it only modifies the destination and does not modify the source directory.

bisync is what intuitively seems like bidirectional synchronization. Not currently in use. For more details, please refer to the official documentation.

Aliyun Drive

Aliyun Drive does not have direct support, but is supported through the implementation of one of the standard protocols mentioned earlier, WebDAV.

I use messense/aliyundrive-webdav, and you can also use alist, which supports more domestic cloud drives.

I won’t go into detail about using Docker images in this process. However, I encountered a pitfall:

Previously, I had configured all my Docker container networks as br0, allocating an IP rather than a host (unRAID) port. However, the container’s IP cannot be accessed on unRAID and needs to be set in Settings > Docker or changed to Bridge for port allocation. Outdated

After successful setup, append the following content to the configuration file:

type = webdav
url = http://localhost:8080
vendor = owncloud
user = xxx
pass = xxx

After the operation is completed, you can obtain a remote connection equivalent to that of OSS, with exactly the same commands.

Automatic Synchronization

Install User Scripts

I achieved scheduled tasks through the User Scripts plugin, which can be found by searching in the APPS panel.

There are two reasons why I didn’t use crontab:

  1. To decouple from unRAID as much as possible, all data is at the plugin level and will be cleared upon uninstallation. I have rolled back before due to consecutive upgrades of beta systems.

  2. Visual management.

Add a task

cd /boot/config/plugins/user.scripts/scripts

Create a directory (it’s more convenient to directly copy other tasks), create a file named “script” without any extension, and write the following content:


cd /mnt/user

echo "syning Public"
rclone sync /mnt/user/Public oss:/unraid/Public --exclude-from=/boot/config/plugins/user.scripts/scripts/rcloneignore --progress
rclone --no-update-modtime sync /mnt/user/Public adrive:/unraid/Public --exclude-from=/boot/config/plugins/user.scripts/scripts/rcloneignore --progress

The contents of my rcloneignore file:


Set up task scheduling

Then just go to Settings > User Utilities > User Scripts to set up task scheduling.


By the way, I’d like to share a script with a compressed and dated version.

NOW=`date +"%Y-%m-%d"`
cd /mnt/user


tar -czvf $LOCAL_PATH appdata
echo "=> done $LOCAL_PATH"

echo "moving $LOCAL_PATH to $REMOTE_PATH"
rclone copy $LOCAL_PATH oss:$REMOTE_PATH --progress

Backup flash

flash backup is also very simple, just compress the /boot directory:

tar -czvf /tmp/`hostname`_flash.tgz --exclude 'previous*' --exclude "System Volume Information" --exclude 'logs*' /boot

Disadvantages of this solution

For further optimization see this article

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