Mount Dropbox As Drive

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  1. Mount Dropbox As Network Drive Linux
  2. Mount Dropbox As Drive Windows
  3. Mount Dropbox As Network Drive
  4. Mount Dropbox As Network Drive
  5. Mount Dropbox Folder As Network Drive

Mount the remote as file system on a mountpoint.

Synopsis

  • This short video shows you how to map your dropbox folder with a drive letter on your pc so that you can easily access the folder from your pc.
  • This tool supports popular cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. It even also supports Amazon S3 and Wasabi. You can use CloudMounter to mount multiple cloud drive accounts of the same storage service. For instance, you can mount two or three Dropbox accounts. CloudMounter itself is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Once you have connected and mounted your cloud drive accounts, they will be able on the file manager app of your operating system as new local drives.

rclone mount allows Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Windows tomount any of Rclone's cloud storage systems as a file system withFUSE.

Quit Dropbox by clicking the Dropbox icon in your taskbar, clicking your profile picture or initials.

First set up your remote using rclone config. Check it works with rclone ls etc.

On Linux and OSX, you can either run mount in foreground mode or background (daemon) mode.Mount runs in foreground mode by default, use the --daemon flag to specify background mode.You can only run mount in foreground mode on Windows.

On Linux/macOS/FreeBSD start the mount like this, where /path/to/local/mountis an emptyexisting directory:

On Windows you can start a mount in different ways. See belowfor details. The following examples will mount to an automatically assigned drive,to specific drive letter X:, to path C:pathparentmount(where parent directory or drive must exist, and mount must not exist,and is not supported when mounting as a network drive), andthe last example will mount as network share cloudremote and map it to anautomatically assigned drive:

When the program ends while in foreground mode, either via Ctrl+C or receivinga SIGINT or SIGTERM signal, the mount should be automatically stopped.

When running in background mode the user will have to stop the mount manually:

The umount operation can fail, for example when the mountpoint is busy.When that happens, it is the user's responsibility to stop the mount manually.

The size of the mounted file system will be set according to information retrievedfrom the remote, the same as returned by the rclone aboutcommand. Remotes with unlimited storage may report the used size only,then an additional 1PB of free space is assumed. If the remote does notsupport the about featureat all, then 1PB is set as both the total and the free size.

Note: As of rclone 1.52.2, rclone mount now requires Go version 1.13or newer on some platforms depending on the underlying FUSE library in use.

Installing on Windows

To run rclone mount on Windows, you will need todownload and install WinFsp.

WinFsp is an open sourceWindows File System Proxy which makes it easy to write user space filesystems for Windows. It provides a FUSE emulation layer which rcloneuses combination with cgofuse.Both of these packages are by Bill Zissimopoulos who was very helpfulduring the implementation of rclone mount for Windows.

Mounting modes on windows

Unlike other operating systems, Microsoft Windows provides a different filesystemtype for network and fixed drives. It optimises access on the assumption fixeddisk drives are fast and reliable, while network drives have relatively high latencyand less reliability. Some settings can also be differentiated between the two types,for example that Windows Explorer should just display icons and not create previewthumbnails for image and video files on network drives.

In most cases, rclone will mount the remote as a normal, fixed disk drive by default.However, you can also choose to mount it as a remote network drive, often describedas a network share. If you mount an rclone remote using the default, fixed drive modeand experience unexpected program errors, freezes or other issues, consider mountingas a network drive instead.

When mounting as a fixed disk drive you can either mount to an unused drive letter,or to a path representing a non-existent subdirectory of an existing parentdirectory or drive. Using the special value * will tell rclone toautomatically assign the next available drive letter, starting with Z: and moving backward.Examples:

Option --volname can be used to set a custom volume name for the mountedfile system. The default is to use the remote name and path.

To mount as network drive, you can add option --network-modeto your mount command. Mounting to a directory path is not supported inthis mode, it is a limitation Windows imposes on junctions, so the remote must alwaysbe mounted to a drive letter.

A volume name specified with --volname will be used to create the network share path.A complete UNC path, such as cloudremote, optionally with pathcloudremotemadeuppath, will be used as is. Any otherstring will be used as the share part, after a default prefix server.If no volume name is specified then servershare will be used.You must make sure the volume name is unique when you are mounting more than one drive,or else the mount command will fail. The share name will treated as the volume label forthe mapped drive, shown in Windows Explorer etc, while the completeservershare will be reported as the remote UNC path bynet use etc, just like a normal network drive mapping.

If you specify a full network share UNC path with --volname, this will implicitelyset the --network-mode option, so the following two examples have same result:

You may also specify the network share UNC path as the mountpoint itself. Then rclonewill automatically assign a drive letter, same as with * and use that asmountpoint, and instead use the UNC path specified as the volume name, as if it werespecified with the --volname option. This will also implicitely setthe --network-mode option. This means the following two examples have same result:

There is yet another way to enable network mode, and to set the share path,and that is to pass the 'native' libfuse/WinFsp option directly:--fuse-flag --VolumePrefix=servershare. Note that the pathmust be with just a single backslash prefix in this case.

Note: In previous versions of rclone this was the only supported method.

See also Limitations section below.

Windows filesystem permissions

The FUSE emulation layer on Windows must convert between the POSIX-basedpermission model used in FUSE, and the permission model used in Windows,based on access-control lists (ACL).

The mounted filesystem will normally get three entries in its access-control list (ACL),representing permissions for the POSIX permission scopes: Owner, group and others.By default, the owner and group will be taken from the current user, and the built-ingroup 'Everyone' will be used to represent others. The user/group can be customizedwith FUSE options 'UserName' and 'GroupName',e.g. -o UserName=user123 -o GroupName='Authenticated Users'.

The permissions on each entry will be set according tooptions--dir-perms and --file-perms,which takes a value in traditional numeric notation,where the default corresponds to --file-perms 0666 --dir-perms 0777.

Note that the mapping of permissions is not always trivial, and the resultyou see in Windows Explorer may not be exactly like you expected.For example, when setting a value that includes write access, this will bemapped to individual permissions 'write attributes', 'write data' and 'append data',but not 'write extended attributes'. Windows will then show this as basicpermission 'Special' instead of 'Write', because 'Write' includes the'write extended attributes' permission.

If you set POSIX permissions for only allowing access to the owner, using--file-perms 0600 --dir-perms 0700, the user group and the built-in 'Everyone'group will still be given some special permissions, such as 'read attributes'and 'read permissions', in Windows. This is done for compatibility reasons,e.g. to allow users without additional permissions to be able to read basicmetadata about files like in UNIX. One case that may arise is that other programs(incorrectly) interprets this as the file being accessible by everyone. For examplean SSH client may warn about 'unprotected private key file'.

WinFsp 2021 (version 1.9) introduces a new FUSE option 'FileSecurity',that allows the complete specification of file security descriptors usingSDDL.With this you can work around issues such as the mentioned 'unprotected private key file'by specifying -o FileSecurity='D:P(A;;FA;;;OW)', for file all access (FA) to the owner (OW).

Windows caveats

Note that drives created as Administrator are not visible by otheraccounts (including the account that was elevated asAdministrator). So if you start a Windows drive from an AdministrativeCommand Prompt and then try to access the same drive from Explorer(which does not run as Administrator), you will not be able to see thenew drive.

The easiest way around this is to start the drive from a normalcommand prompt. It is also possible to start a drive from the SYSTEMaccount (using the WinFsp.Launcherinfrastructure)which creates drives accessible for everyone on the system oralternatively using the nssm service manager.

Limitations

Without the use of --vfs-cache-mode this can only write filessequentially, it can only seek when reading. This means that manyapplications won't work with their files on an rclone mount without--vfs-cache-mode writes or --vfs-cache-mode full.See the VFS File Caching section for more info.

The bucket based remotes (e.g. Swift, S3, Google Compute Storage, B2,Hubic) do not support the concept of empty directories, so emptydirectories will have a tendency to disappear once they fall out ofthe directory cache.

Only supported on Linux, FreeBSD, OS X and Windows at the moment.

rclone mount vs rclone sync/copy

Mount Dropbox As Network Drive Linux

File systems expect things to be 100% reliable, whereas cloud storagesystems are a long way from 100% reliable. The rclone sync/copycommands cope with this with lots of retries. However rclone mountcan't use retries in the same way without making local copies of theuploads. Look at the VFS File Cachingfor solutions to make mount more reliable.

Attribute caching

You can use the flag --attr-timeout to set the time the kernel cachesthe attributes (size, modification time, etc.) for directory entries.

The default is 1s which caches files just long enough to avoidtoo many callbacks to rclone from the kernel.

In theory 0s should be the correct value for filesystems which canchange outside the control of the kernel. However this causes quite afew problems such asrclone using too much memory,rclone not serving files to sambaand excessive time listing directories.

The kernel can cache the info about a file for the time given by--attr-timeout. You may see corruption if the remote file changeslength during this window. It will show up as either a truncated fileor a file with garbage on the end. With --attr-timeout 1s this isvery unlikely but not impossible. The higher you set --attr-timeoutthe more likely it is. The default setting of '1s' is the lowestsetting which mitigates the problems above.

If you set it higher (10s or 1m say) then the kernel will callback to rclone less often making it more efficient, however there ismore chance of the corruption issue above.

If files don't change on the remote outside of the control of rclonethen there is no chance of corruption.

This is the same as setting the attr_timeout option in mount.fuse.

Filters

Note that all the rclone filters can be used to select a subset of thefiles to be visible in the mount.

systemd

When running rclone mount as a systemd service, it is possibleto use Type=notify. In this case the service will enter the started stateafter the mountpoint has been successfully set up.Units having the rclone mount service specified as a requirementwill see all files and folders immediately in this mode.

chunked reading

--vfs-read-chunk-size will enable reading the source objects in parts.This can reduce the used download quota for some remotes by requesting only chunksfrom the remote that are actually read at the cost of an increased number of requests.

When --vfs-read-chunk-size-limit is also specified and greater than--vfs-read-chunk-size, the chunk size for each open file will get doubledfor each chunk read, until the specified value is reached. A value of -1 will disablethe limit and the chunk size will grow indefinitely.

With --vfs-read-chunk-size 100M and --vfs-read-chunk-size-limit 0the following parts will be downloaded: 0-100M, 100M-200M, 200M-300M, 300M-400M and so on.When --vfs-read-chunk-size-limit 500M is specified, the result would be0-100M, 100M-300M, 300M-700M, 700M-1200M, 1200M-1700M and so on.

VFS - Virtual File System

This command uses the VFS layer. This adapts the cloud storage objectsthat rclone uses into something which looks much more like a diskfiling system.

Cloud storage objects have lots of properties which aren't like diskfiles - you can't extend them or write to the middle of them, so theVFS layer has to deal with that. Because there is no one right way ofdoing this there are various options explained below.

The VFS layer also implements a directory cache - this caches infoabout files and directories (but not the data) in memory.

VFS Directory Cache

Using the --dir-cache-time flag, you can control how long adirectory should be considered up to date and not refreshed from thebackend. Changes made through the mount will appear immediately orinvalidate the cache.

However, changes made directly on the cloud storage by the webinterface or a different copy of rclone will only be picked up oncethe directory cache expires if the backend configured does not supportpolling for changes. If the backend supports polling, changes will bepicked up within the polling interval.

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

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

Or individual files or directories:

VFS File Buffering

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

Each open file will try to keep the specified amount of data in memoryat all times. The buffered data is bound to one open file and won't beshared.

This flag is a upper limit for the used memory per open file. Thebuffer will only use memory for data that is downloaded but not notyet read. If the buffer is empty, only a small amount of memory willbe used.

The maximum memory used by rclone for buffering can be up to--buffer-size * open files.

VFS File Caching

These flags control the VFS file caching options. File caching isnecessary to make the VFS layer appear compatible with a normal filesystem. It can be disabled at the cost of some compatibility.

For example you'll need to enable VFS caching if you want to read andwrite simultaneously to a file. See below for more details.

Note that the VFS cache is separate from the cache backend and you mayfind that you need one or the other or both.

If run with -vv rclone will print the location of the file cache. Thefiles are stored in the user cache file area which is OS dependent butcan be controlled with --cache-dir or setting the appropriateenvironment variable.

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

Note that files are written back to the remote only when they areclosed and if they haven't been accessed for --vfs-write-backsecond. If rclone is quit or dies with files that haven't beenuploaded, these will be uploaded next time rclone is run with the sameflags.

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

You should not run two copies of rclone using the same VFS cachewith the same or overlapping remotes if using --vfs-cache-mode > off.This can potentially cause data corruption if you do. You can workaround this by giving each rclone its own cache hierarchy with--cache-dir. You don't need to worry about this if the remotes inuse don't overlap.

--vfs-cache-mode off

In this mode (the default) the cache will read directly from the remote and writedirectly 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 ANDwrite will be buffered to disk. This means that files opened forwrite 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 fromthe remote, write only and read/write files are buffered to diskfirst.

Mount Dropbox As Drive Windows

This mode should support all normal file system operations.

If an upload fails it will be retried at exponentially increasingintervals up to 1 minute.

--vfs-cache-mode full

In this mode all reads and writes are buffered to and from disk. Whendata is read from the remote this is buffered to disk as well.

In this mode the files in the cache will be sparse files and rclonewill keep track of which bits of the files it has downloaded.

So if an application only reads the starts of each file, then rclonewill only buffer the start of the file. These files will appear to betheir full size in the cache, but they will be sparse files with onlythe data that has been downloaded present in them.

This mode should support all normal file system operations and isotherwise identical to --vfs-cache-mode writes.

When reading a file rclone will read --buffer-size plus--vfs-read-ahead bytes ahead. The --buffer-size is buffered in memorywhereas the --vfs-read-ahead is buffered on disk.

When using this mode it is recommended that --buffer-size is not settoo big and --vfs-read-ahead is set large if required.

IMPORTANT not all file systems support sparse files. In particularFAT/exFAT do not. Rclone will perform very badly if the cachedirectory is on a filesystem which doesn't support sparse files and itwill log an ERROR message if one is detected.

VFS Performance

Mount Dropbox As Drive

These flags may be used to enable/disable features of the VFS forperformance or other reasons.

In particular S3 and Swift benefit hugely from the --no-modtime flag(or use --use-server-modtime for a slightly different effect) as eachread of the modification time takes a transaction.

When rclone reads files from a remote it reads them in chunks. Thismeans that rather than requesting the whole file rclone reads thechunk specified. This is advantageous because some cloud providersaccount for reads being all the data requested, not all the datadelivered.

Rclone will keep doubling the chunk size requested starting at--vfs-read-chunk-size with a maximum of --vfs-read-chunk-size-limitunless it is set to 'off' in which case there will be no limit.

Sometimes rclone is delivered reads or writes out of order. Ratherthan seeking rclone will wait a short time for the in sequence read orwrite to come in. These flags only come into effect when not using anon disk cache file.

When using VFS write caching (--vfs-cache-mode with value writes or full),the global flag --transfers can be set to adjust the number of parallel uploads ofmodified files from cache (the related global flag --checkers have no effect on mount).

VFS Case Sensitivity

Linux file systems are case-sensitive: two files can differ onlyby case, and the exact case must be used when opening a file.

File systems in modern Windows are case-insensitive but case-preserving:although existing files can be opened using any case, the exact case usedto create the file is preserved and available for programs to query.It is not allowed for two files in the same directory to differ only by case.

Usually file systems on macOS are case-insensitive. It is possible to make macOSfile systems case-sensitive but that is not the default

The --vfs-case-insensitive mount flag controls how rclone handles thesetwo cases. If its value is 'false', rclone passes file names to the mountedfile system as-is. If the flag is 'true' (or appears without a value oncommand line), rclone may perform a 'fixup' as explained below.

The user may specify a file name to open/delete/rename/etc with a casedifferent than what is stored on mounted file system. If an argument refersto an existing file with exactly the same name, then the case of the existingfile on the disk will be used. However, if a file name with exactly the samename is not found but a name differing only by case exists, rclone willtransparently fixup the name. This fixup happens only when an existing fileis requested. Case sensitivity of file names created anew by rclone iscontrolled by an underlying mounted file system.

Note that case sensitivity of the operating system running rclone (the target)may differ from case sensitivity of a file system mounted by rclone (the source).The flag controls whether 'fixup' is performed to satisfy the target.

If the flag is not provided on the command line, then its default value dependson the operating system where rclone runs: 'true' on Windows and macOS, 'false'otherwise. If the flag is provided without a value, then it is 'true'.

Alternate report of used bytes

Some backends, most notably S3, do not report the amount of bytes used.If you need this information to be available when running df on thefilesystem, then pass the flag --vfs-used-is-size to rclone.With this flag set, instead of relying on the backend to report thisinformation, rclone will scan the whole remote similar to rclone sizeand compute the total used space itself.

WARNING. Contrary to rclone size, this flag ignores filters so that theresult is accurate. However, this is very inefficient and may cost lots of APIcalls resulting in extra charges. Use it as a last resort and only with caching.

Options

See the global flags page for global options not listed here.

SEE ALSO

  • rclone - Show help for rclone commands, flags and backends.

I think a lot of people are shy to discuss / admit using Dropbox because of the previous issues with the service. This stems from... well, a lot of stuff.

Mount Dropbox As Network Drive

Currently I use a DropBox Teams account to sync ~7TB of data to 6 different offices. This gives us version control, rapid file restore options, and conflicted copy options which DFS just failed to perform. The added benefit of off-site (I quail to call it 'Cloud-based' for fear of the great SAM) storage of the data, in-case someone needs quick access to a specific folder or file while not in the office.

Issues to be aware of:
1) The database functions use by DB to cache file lists, data changes, etc can grow to be quite large.
2) Running DB as a service can create problems which may lead to having to re-seed your data.
3) Inexperienced technicians supporting the server from which the data is shared may inadvertently cause corruption/deletion of the cache data, which causes the data to need re-seeding.

Mount Dropbox As Network Drive

For those looking to make DropBox work as a file-level backup solution of network file shares I recommend ensuring that anyone with access to the local host server / PC knows to not touch anything related to DropBox without authorization, and do not authorize anyone who does not understand exactly how it works.

Mount Dropbox Folder As Network Drive

Edited Feb 5, 2013 at 19:36 UTC