rclone serve ftp

rclone serve ftp

Serve remote:path over FTP.


rclone serve ftp implements a basic ftp server to serve the remote over FTP protocol. This can be viewed with a ftp client or you can make a remote of type ftp to read and write it.

Server options

Use --addr to specify which IP address and port the server should listen on, eg --addr or --addr :8080 to listen to all IPs. By default it only listens on localhost. You can use port :0 to let the OS choose an available port.

If you set --addr to listen on a public or LAN accessible IP address then using Authentication is advised - see the next section for info.


By default this will serve files without needing a login.

You can set a single username and password with the --user and --pass flags.

Directory Cache

Using the --dir-cache-time flag, you can set how long a directory should be considered up to date and not refreshed from the backend. Changes made locally in the mount may appear immediately or invalidate the cache. However, changes done on the remote will only be picked up once the cache expires.

Alternatively, you can send a SIGHUP signal to rclone for it to flush all directory caches, regardless of how old they are. Assuming only one rclone instance is running, you can reset the cache like this:

kill -SIGHUP $(pidof rclone)

If you configure rclone with a remote control then you can use rclone rc to flush the whole directory cache:

rclone rc vfs/forget

Or individual files or directories:

rclone rc vfs/forget file=path/to/file dir=path/to/dir

File Buffering

The --buffer-size flag determines the amount of memory, that will be used to buffer data in advance.

Each open file descriptor will try to keep the specified amount of data in memory at all times. The buffered data is bound to one file descriptor and won’t be shared between multiple open file descriptors of the same file.

This flag is a upper limit for the used memory per file descriptor. The buffer will only use memory for data that is downloaded but not not yet read. If the buffer is empty, only a small amount of memory will be used. The maximum memory used by rclone for buffering can be up to --buffer-size * open files.

File Caching

These flags control the VFS file caching options. The VFS layer is used by rclone mount to make a cloud storage system work more like a normal file system.

You’ll need to enable VFS caching if you want, for example, to read and write simultaneously to a file. See below for more details.

Note that the VFS cache works in addition to the cache backend and you may find that you need one or the other or both.

--cache-dir string                   Directory rclone will use for caching.
--vfs-cache-max-age duration         Max age of objects in the cache. (default 1h0m0s)
--vfs-cache-mode string              Cache mode off|minimal|writes|full (default "off")
--vfs-cache-poll-interval duration   Interval to poll the cache for stale objects. (default 1m0s)
--vfs-cache-max-size int             Max total size of objects in the cache. (default off)

If run with -vv rclone will print the location of the file cache. The files are stored in the user cache file area which is OS dependent but can be controlled with --cache-dir or setting the appropriate environment variable.

The cache has 4 different modes selected by --vfs-cache-mode. The higher the cache mode the more compatible rclone becomes at the cost of using disk space.

Note that files are written back to the remote only when they are closed so if rclone is quit or dies with open files then these won’t get written back to the remote. However they will still be in the on disk cache.

If using --vfs-cache-max-size note that the cache may exceed this size for two reasons. Firstly because it is only checked every --vfs-cache-poll-interval. Secondly because open files cannot be evicted from the cache.

--vfs-cache-mode off

In this mode the cache will read directly from the remote and write directly to the remote without caching anything on disk.

This will mean some operations are not possible

  • Files can’t be opened for both read AND write
  • Files opened for write can’t be seeked
  • Existing files opened for write must have O_TRUNC set
  • Files open for read with O_TRUNC will be opened write only
  • Files open for write only will behave as if O_TRUNC was supplied
  • Open modes O_APPEND, O_TRUNC are ignored
  • If an upload fails it can’t be retried

--vfs-cache-mode minimal

This is very similar to “off” except that files opened for read AND write will be buffered to disks. This means that files opened for write will be a lot more compatible, but uses the minimal disk space.

These operations are not possible

  • Files opened for write only can’t be seeked
  • Existing files opened for write must have O_TRUNC set
  • Files opened for write only will ignore O_APPEND, O_TRUNC
  • If an upload fails it can’t be retried

--vfs-cache-mode writes

In this mode files opened for read only are still read directly from the remote, write only and read/write files are buffered to disk first.

This mode should support all normal file system operations.

If an upload fails it will be retried up to --low-level-retries times.

--vfs-cache-mode full

In this mode all reads and writes are buffered to and from disk. When a file is opened for read it will be downloaded in its entirety first.

This may be appropriate for your needs, or you may prefer to look at the cache backend which does a much more sophisticated job of caching, including caching directory hierarchies and chunks of files.

In this mode, unlike the others, when a file is written to the disk, it will be kept on the disk after it is written to the remote. It will be purged on a schedule according to --vfs-cache-max-age.

This mode should support all normal file system operations.

If an upload or download fails it will be retried up to --low-level-retries times.

rclone serve ftp remote:path [flags]


      --addr string                            IPaddress:Port or :Port to bind server to. (default "localhost:2121")
      --dir-cache-time duration                Time to cache directory entries for. (default 5m0s)
      --dir-perms FileMode                     Directory permissions (default 0777)
      --file-perms FileMode                    File permissions (default 0666)
      --gid uint32                             Override the gid field set by the filesystem. (default 1001)
  -h, --help                                   help for ftp
      --no-checksum                            Don't compare checksums on up/download.
      --no-modtime                             Don't read/write the modification time (can speed things up).
      --no-seek                                Don't allow seeking in files.
      --pass string                            Password for authentication. (empty value allow every password)
      --passive-port string                    Passive port range to use. (default "30000-32000")
      --poll-interval duration                 Time to wait between polling for changes. Must be smaller than dir-cache-time. Only on supported remotes. Set to 0 to disable. (default 1m0s)
      --public-ip string                       Public IP address to advertise for passive connections.
      --read-only                              Mount read-only.
      --uid uint32                             Override the uid field set by the filesystem. (default 1001)
      --umask int                              Override the permission bits set by the filesystem. (default 2)
      --user string                            User name for authentication. (default "anonymous")
      --vfs-cache-max-age duration             Max age of objects in the cache. (default 1h0m0s)
      --vfs-cache-max-size SizeSuffix          Max total size of objects in the cache. (default off)
      --vfs-cache-mode CacheMode               Cache mode off|minimal|writes|full (default off)
      --vfs-cache-poll-interval duration       Interval to poll the cache for stale objects. (default 1m0s)
      --vfs-read-chunk-size SizeSuffix         Read the source objects in chunks. (default 128M)
      --vfs-read-chunk-size-limit SizeSuffix   If greater than --vfs-read-chunk-size, double the chunk size after each chunk read, until the limit is reached. 'off' is unlimited. (default off)


Auto generated by spf13/cobra on 22-May-2019

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