Remote controlling rclone

If rclone is run with the --rc flag then it starts an http server which can be used to remote control rclone.

If you just want to run a remote control then see the rcd command.

NB this is experimental and everything here is subject to change!

Supported parameters

--rc

Flag to start the http server listen on remote requests

--rc-addr=IP

IPaddress:Port or :Port to bind server to. (default “localhost:5572”)

--rc-cert=KEY

SSL PEM key (concatenation of certificate and CA certificate)

--rc-client-ca=PATH

Client certificate authority to verify clients with

--rc-htpasswd=PATH

htpasswd file - if not provided no authentication is done

--rc-key=PATH

SSL PEM Private key

--rc-max-header-bytes=VALUE

Maximum size of request header (default 4096)

--rc-user=VALUE

User name for authentication.

--rc-pass=VALUE

Password for authentication.

--rc-realm=VALUE

Realm for authentication (default “rclone”)

--rc-server-read-timeout=DURATION

Timeout for server reading data (default 1h0m0s)

--rc-server-write-timeout=DURATION

Timeout for server writing data (default 1h0m0s)

--rc-serve

Enable the serving of remote objects via the HTTP interface. This means objects will be accessible at http://127.0.0.1:5572/ by default, so you can browse to http://127.0.0.1:5572/ or http://127.0.0.1:5572/* to see a listing of the remotes. Objects may be requested from remotes using this syntax http://127.0.0.1:5572/[remote:path]/path/to/object

Default Off.

--rc-files /path/to/directory

Path to local files to serve on the HTTP server.

If this is set then rclone will serve the files in that directory. It will also open the root in the web browser if specified. This is for implementing browser based GUIs for rclone functions.

If --rc-user or --rc-pass is set then the URL that is opened will have the authorization in the URL in the http://user:pass@localhost/ style.

Default Off.

--rc-no-auth

By default rclone will require authorisation to have been set up on the rc interface in order to use any methods which access any rclone remotes. Eg operations/list is denied as it involved creating a remote as is sync/copy.

If this is set then no authorisation will be required on the server to use these methods. The alternative is to use --rc-user and --rc-pass and use these credentials in the request.

Default Off.

Accessing the remote control via the rclone rc command

Rclone itself implements the remote control protocol in its rclone rc command.

You can use it like this

$ rclone rc rc/noop param1=one param2=two
{
	"param1": "one",
	"param2": "two"
}

Run rclone rc on its own to see the help for the installed remote control commands.

rclone rc also supports a --json flag which can be used to send more complicated input parameters.

$ rclone rc --json '{ "p1": [1,"2",null,4], "p2": { "a":1, "b":2 } }' rc/noop
{
	"p1": [
		1,
		"2",
		null,
		4
	],
	"p2": {
		"a": 1,
		"b": 2
	}
}

Special parameters

The rc interface supports some special parameters which apply to all commands. These start with _ to show they are different.

Running asynchronous jobs with _async = true

If _async has a true value when supplied to an rc call then it will return immediately with a job id and the task will be run in the background. The job/status call can be used to get information of the background job. The job can be queried for up to 1 minute after it has finished.

It is recommended that potentially long running jobs, eg sync/sync, sync/copy, sync/move, operations/purge are run with the _async flag to avoid any potential problems with the HTTP request and response timing out.

Starting a job with the _async flag:

$ rclone rc --json '{ "p1": [1,"2",null,4], "p2": { "a":1, "b":2 }, "_async": true }' rc/noop
{
	"jobid": 2
}

Query the status to see if the job has finished. For more information on the meaning of these return parameters see the job/status call.

$ rclone rc --json '{ "jobid":2 }' job/status
{
	"duration": 0.000124163,
	"endTime": "2018-10-27T11:38:07.911245881+01:00",
	"error": "",
	"finished": true,
	"id": 2,
	"output": {
		"_async": true,
		"p1": [
			1,
			"2",
			null,
			4
		],
		"p2": {
			"a": 1,
			"b": 2
		}
	},
	"startTime": "2018-10-27T11:38:07.911121728+01:00",
	"success": true
}

job/list can be used to show the running or recently completed jobs

$ rclone rc job/list
{
	"jobids": [
		2
	]
}

Supported commands

cache/expire: Purge a remote from cache

Purge a remote from the cache backend. Supports either a directory or a file. Params: - remote = path to remote (required) - withData = true/false to delete cached data (chunks) as well (optional)

Eg

rclone rc cache/expire remote=path/to/sub/folder/
rclone rc cache/expire remote=/ withData=true

cache/fetch: Fetch file chunks

Ensure the specified file chunks are cached on disk.

The chunks= parameter specifies the file chunks to check. It takes a comma separated list of array slice indices. The slice indices are similar to Python slices: start[:end]

start is the 0 based chunk number from the beginning of the file to fetch inclusive. end is 0 based chunk number from the beginning of the file to fetch exclusive. Both values can be negative, in which case they count from the back of the file. The value “-5:” represents the last 5 chunks of a file.

Some valid examples are: “:5,-5:” -> the first and last five chunks “0,-2” -> the first and the second last chunk “0:10” -> the first ten chunks

Any parameter with a key that starts with “file” can be used to specify files to fetch, eg

rclone rc cache/fetch chunks=0 file=hello file2=home/goodbye

File names will automatically be encrypted when the a crypt remote is used on top of the cache.

cache/stats: Get cache stats

Show statistics for the cache remote.

config/create: create the config for a remote.

This takes the following parameters

  • name - name of remote
  • type - type of new remote
  • type - type of the new remote

See the config create command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/delete: Delete a remote in the config file.

Parameters: - name - name of remote to delete

See the config delete command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/dump: Dumps the config file.

Returns a JSON object: - key: value

Where keys are remote names and values are the config parameters.

See the config dump command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/get: Get a remote in the config file.

Parameters: - name - name of remote to get

See the config dump command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/listremotes: Lists the remotes in the config file.

Returns - remotes - array of remote names

See the listremotes command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/password: password the config for a remote.

This takes the following parameters

  • name - name of remote
  • type - type of new remote

See the config password command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/providers: Shows how providers are configured in the config file.

Returns a JSON object: - providers - array of objects

See the config providers command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

config/update: update the config for a remote.

This takes the following parameters

  • name - name of remote
  • type - type of new remote

See the config update command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

core/bwlimit: Set the bandwidth limit.

This sets the bandwidth limit to that passed in.

Eg

rclone rc core/bwlimit rate=1M
rclone rc core/bwlimit rate=off

The format of the parameter is exactly the same as passed to --bwlimit except only one bandwidth may be specified.

core/gc: Runs a garbage collection.

This tells the go runtime to do a garbage collection run. It isn’t necessary to call this normally, but it can be useful for debugging memory problems.

core/memstats: Returns the memory statistics

This returns the memory statistics of the running program. What the values mean are explained in the go docs: https://golang.org/pkg/runtime/#MemStats

The most interesting values for most people are:

  • HeapAlloc: This is the amount of memory rclone is actually using
  • HeapSys: This is the amount of memory rclone has obtained from the OS
  • Sys: this is the total amount of memory requested from the OS
    • It is virtual memory so may include unused memory

core/obscure: Obscures a string passed in.

Pass a clear string and rclone will obscure it for the config file: - clear - string

Returns - obscured - string

core/pid: Return PID of current process

This returns PID of current process. Useful for stopping rclone process.

core/stats: Returns stats about current transfers.

This returns all available stats

rclone rc core/stats

Returns the following values:

{
	"speed": average speed in bytes/sec since start of the process,
	"bytes": total transferred bytes since the start of the process,
	"errors": number of errors,
	"fatalError": whether there has been at least one FatalError,
	"retryError": whether there has been at least one non-NoRetryError,
	"checks": number of checked files,
	"transfers": number of transferred files,
	"deletes" : number of deleted files,
	"elapsedTime": time in seconds since the start of the process,
	"lastError": last occurred error,
	"transferring": an array of currently active file transfers:
		[
			{
				"bytes": total transferred bytes for this file,
				"eta": estimated time in seconds until file transfer completion
				"name": name of the file,
				"percentage": progress of the file transfer in percent,
				"speed": speed in bytes/sec,
				"speedAvg": speed in bytes/sec as an exponentially weighted moving average,
				"size": size of the file in bytes
			}
		],
	"checking": an array of names of currently active file checks
		[]
}

Values for “transferring”, “checking” and “lastError” are only assigned if data is available. The value for “eta” is null if an eta cannot be determined.

core/version: Shows the current version of rclone and the go runtime.

This shows the current version of go and the go runtime - version - rclone version, eg “v1.44” - decomposed - version number as [major, minor, patch, subpatch] - note patch and subpatch will be 999 for a git compiled version - isGit - boolean - true if this was compiled from the git version - os - OS in use as according to Go - arch - cpu architecture in use according to Go - goVersion - version of Go runtime in use

job/list: Lists the IDs of the running jobs

Parameters - None

Results - jobids - array of integer job ids

job/status: Reads the status of the job ID

Parameters - jobid - id of the job (integer)

Results - finished - boolean - duration - time in seconds that the job ran for - endTime - time the job finished (eg “2018-10-26T18:50:20.528746884+01:00”) - error - error from the job or empty string for no error - finished - boolean whether the job has finished or not - id - as passed in above - startTime - time the job started (eg “2018-10-26T18:50:20.528336039+01:00”) - success - boolean - true for success false otherwise - output - output of the job as would have been returned if called synchronously

operations/about: Return the space used on the remote

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”

The result is as returned from rclone about --json

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/cleanup: Remove trashed files in the remote or path

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”

See the cleanup command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/copyfile: Copy a file from source remote to destination remote

This takes the following parameters

  • srcFs - a remote name string eg “drive:” for the source
  • srcRemote - a path within that remote eg “file.txt” for the source
  • dstFs - a remote name string eg “drive2:” for the destination
  • dstRemote - a path within that remote eg “file2.txt” for the destination

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/copyurl: Copy the URL to the object

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”
  • url - string, URL to read from

See the copyurl command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/delete: Remove files in the path

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”

See the delete command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/deletefile: Remove the single file pointed to

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”

See the deletefile command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/list: List the given remote and path in JSON format

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”
  • opt - a dictionary of options to control the listing (optional)
    • recurse - If set recurse directories
    • noModTime - If set return modification time
    • showEncrypted - If set show decrypted names
    • showOrigIDs - If set show the IDs for each item if known
    • showHash - If set return a dictionary of hashes

The result is

  • list
    • This is an array of objects as described in the lsjson command

See the lsjson command for more information on the above and examples.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/mkdir: Make a destination directory or container

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”

See the mkdir command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/movefile: Move a file from source remote to destination remote

This takes the following parameters

  • srcFs - a remote name string eg “drive:” for the source
  • srcRemote - a path within that remote eg “file.txt” for the source
  • dstFs - a remote name string eg “drive2:” for the destination
  • dstRemote - a path within that remote eg “file2.txt” for the destination

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/purge: Remove a directory or container and all of its contents

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”

See the purge command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/rmdir: Remove an empty directory or container

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”

See the rmdir command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/rmdirs: Remove all the empty directories in the path

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:”
  • remote - a path within that remote eg “dir”
  • leaveRoot - boolean, set to true not to delete the root

See the rmdirs command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

operations/size: Count the number of bytes and files in remote

This takes the following parameters

  • fs - a remote name string eg “drive:path/to/dir”

Returns

  • count - number of files
  • bytes - number of bytes in those files

See the size command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

options/blocks: List all the option blocks

Returns - options - a list of the options block names

options/get: Get all the options

Returns an object where keys are option block names and values are an object with the current option values in.

This shows the internal names of the option within rclone which should map to the external options very easily with a few exceptions.

options/set: Set an option

Parameters

  • option block name containing an object with
    • key: value

Repeated as often as required.

Only supply the options you wish to change. If an option is unknown it will be silently ignored. Not all options will have an effect when changed like this.

For example:

This sets DEBUG level logs (-vv)

rclone rc options/set --json '{"main": {"LogLevel": 8}}'

And this sets INFO level logs (-v)

rclone rc options/set --json '{"main": {"LogLevel": 7}}'

And this sets NOTICE level logs (normal without -v)

rclone rc options/set --json '{"main": {"LogLevel": 6}}'

rc/error: This returns an error

This returns an error with the input as part of its error string. Useful for testing error handling.

rc/list: List all the registered remote control commands

This lists all the registered remote control commands as a JSON map in the commands response.

rc/noop: Echo the input to the output parameters

This echoes the input parameters to the output parameters for testing purposes. It can be used to check that rclone is still alive and to check that parameter passing is working properly.

rc/noopauth: Echo the input to the output parameters requiring auth

This echoes the input parameters to the output parameters for testing purposes. It can be used to check that rclone is still alive and to check that parameter passing is working properly.

Authentication is required for this call.

sync/copy: copy a directory from source remote to destination remote

This takes the following parameters

  • srcFs - a remote name string eg “drive:src” for the source
  • dstFs - a remote name string eg “drive:dst” for the destination

See the copy command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

sync/move: move a directory from source remote to destination remote

This takes the following parameters

  • srcFs - a remote name string eg “drive:src” for the source
  • dstFs - a remote name string eg “drive:dst” for the destination
  • deleteEmptySrcDirs - delete empty src directories if set

See the move command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

sync/sync: sync a directory from source remote to destination remote

This takes the following parameters

  • srcFs - a remote name string eg “drive:src” for the source
  • dstFs - a remote name string eg “drive:dst” for the destination

See the sync command command for more information on the above.

Authentication is required for this call.

vfs/forget: Forget files or directories in the directory cache.

This forgets the paths in the directory cache causing them to be re-read from the remote when needed.

If no paths are passed in then it will forget all the paths in the directory cache.

rclone rc vfs/forget

Otherwise pass files or dirs in as file=path or dir=path. Any parameter key starting with file will forget that file and any starting with dir will forget that dir, eg

rclone rc vfs/forget file=hello file2=goodbye dir=home/junk

vfs/poll-interval: Get the status or update the value of the poll-interval option.

Without any parameter given this returns the current status of the poll-interval setting.

When the interval=duration parameter is set, the poll-interval value is updated and the polling function is notified. Setting interval=0 disables poll-interval.

rclone rc vfs/poll-interval interval=5m

The timeout=duration parameter can be used to specify a time to wait for the current poll function to apply the new value. If timeout is less or equal 0, which is the default, wait indefinitely.

The new poll-interval value will only be active when the timeout is not reached.

If poll-interval is updated or disabled temporarily, some changes might not get picked up by the polling function, depending on the used remote.

vfs/refresh: Refresh the directory cache.

This reads the directories for the specified paths and freshens the directory cache.

If no paths are passed in then it will refresh the root directory.

rclone rc vfs/refresh

Otherwise pass directories in as dir=path. Any parameter key starting with dir will refresh that directory, eg

rclone rc vfs/refresh dir=home/junk dir2=data/misc

If the parameter recursive=true is given the whole directory tree will get refreshed. This refresh will use --fast-list if enabled.

Accessing the remote control via HTTP

Rclone implements a simple HTTP based protocol.

Each endpoint takes an JSON object and returns a JSON object or an error. The JSON objects are essentially a map of string names to values.

All calls must made using POST.

The input objects can be supplied using URL parameters, POST parameters or by supplying “Content-Type: application/json” and a JSON blob in the body. There are examples of these below using curl.

The response will be a JSON blob in the body of the response. This is formatted to be reasonably human readable.

Error returns

If an error occurs then there will be an HTTP error status (eg 500) and the body of the response will contain a JSON encoded error object, eg

{
    "error": "Expecting string value for key \"remote\" (was float64)",
    "input": {
        "fs": "/tmp",
        "remote": 3
    },
    "status": 400
    "path": "operations/rmdir",
}

The keys in the error response are - error - error string - input - the input parameters to the call - status - the HTTP status code - path - the path of the call

CORS

The sever implements basic CORS support and allows all origins for that. The response to a preflight OPTIONS request will echo the requested “Access-Control-Request-Headers” back.

Using POST with URL parameters only

curl -X POST 'http://localhost:5572/rc/noop?potato=1&sausage=2'

Response

{
	"potato": "1",
	"sausage": "2"
}

Here is what an error response looks like:

curl -X POST 'http://localhost:5572/rc/error?potato=1&sausage=2'
{
	"error": "arbitrary error on input map[potato:1 sausage:2]",
	"input": {
		"potato": "1",
		"sausage": "2"
	}
}

Note that curl doesn’t return errors to the shell unless you use the -f option

$ curl -f -X POST 'http://localhost:5572/rc/error?potato=1&sausage=2'
curl: (22) The requested URL returned error: 400 Bad Request
$ echo $?
22

Using POST with a form

curl --data "potato=1" --data "sausage=2" http://localhost:5572/rc/noop

Response

{
	"potato": "1",
	"sausage": "2"
}

Note that you can combine these with URL parameters too with the POST parameters taking precedence.

curl --data "potato=1" --data "sausage=2" "http://localhost:5572/rc/noop?rutabaga=3&sausage=4"

Response

{
	"potato": "1",
	"rutabaga": "3",
	"sausage": "4"
}

Using POST with a JSON blob

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST -d '{"potato":2,"sausage":1}' http://localhost:5572/rc/noop

response

{
	"password": "xyz",
	"username": "xyz"
}

This can be combined with URL parameters too if required. The JSON blob takes precedence.

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST -d '{"potato":2,"sausage":1}' 'http://localhost:5572/rc/noop?rutabaga=3&potato=4'
{
	"potato": 2,
	"rutabaga": "3",
	"sausage": 1
}

Debugging rclone with pprof

If you use the --rc flag this will also enable the use of the go profiling tools on the same port.

To use these, first install go.

Debugging memory use

To profile rclone’s memory use you can run:

go tool pprof -web http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/heap

This should open a page in your browser showing what is using what memory.

You can also use the -text flag to produce a textual summary

$ go tool pprof -text http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/heap
Showing nodes accounting for 1537.03kB, 100% of 1537.03kB total
      flat  flat%   sum%        cum   cum%
 1024.03kB 66.62% 66.62%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/vendor/golang.org/x/net/http2/hpack.addDecoderNode
     513kB 33.38%   100%      513kB 33.38%  net/http.newBufioWriterSize
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/cmd/all.init
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/cmd/serve.init
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/cmd/serve/restic.init
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/vendor/golang.org/x/net/http2.init
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/vendor/golang.org/x/net/http2/hpack.init
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  github.com/ncw/rclone/vendor/golang.org/x/net/http2/hpack.init.0
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  main.init
         0     0%   100%      513kB 33.38%  net/http.(*conn).readRequest
         0     0%   100%      513kB 33.38%  net/http.(*conn).serve
         0     0%   100%  1024.03kB 66.62%  runtime.main

Debugging go routine leaks

Memory leaks are most often caused by go routine leaks keeping memory alive which should have been garbage collected.

See all active go routines using

curl http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/goroutine?debug=1

Or go to http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/goroutine?debug=1 in your browser.

Other profiles to look at

You can see a summary of profiles available at http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/

Here is how to use some of them:

  • Memory: go tool pprof http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/heap
  • Go routines: curl http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/goroutine?debug=1
  • 30-second CPU profile: go tool pprof http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/profile
  • 5-second execution trace: wget http://localhost:5572/debug/pprof/trace?seconds=5

See the net/http/pprof docs for more info on how to use the profiling and for a general overview see the Go team’s blog post on profiling go programs.

The profiling hook is zero overhead unless it is used.

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