Can Rclone mount FTP servers as local drives without sync?

I just checked out which lets you connect FTPs to local folders/virtual drives that you can open with File Explorer and edit with external softwares of choice without necessarily synchronizing/downloading the files on the FTP remote to your PC. Can something like this be achieved in Rclone, and if so, how would I do that?


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Yes, you can mount a FTP site and go through it like that.

is the docs on the ftp backend to serve that. Once you have it configured, you can mount it using the rclone mount command.

Reading on your first link it says Rclone requires WinFsp , and looking on the video on the home page for it, WinFsp seems to be exactly what Im asking for doesnt it? So then I guess I wouldnt need Rclone? Also I saw that WinFSP havent been updated since January, so does it still work with the latest version of Windows?

hello, i use winfsp, rclone 1.49.1, windows 10 v1903 64bit.
zero problems.

my use case, i have veeam backup and replication files in wasabi cloud.
i mount those files with rclone and winfsp.
veeam backup and replication see the files no problem.
in fact, veeam has an instant vm recovery feature and that works fine.

winfsp needs to be installed, no configuration needed.
with rclone, connect to the ftp server.

here is my exact code to mount wasabi s3 storage.

rclone mount wasabi01:vserver03\BJ_V_H.VSERVER03_G.AMPE02\backup\ b:\BJ_V_H.VSERVER03_G.AMPE02\

Thanks for sharing ;D But do you know if WinFSP would work stand alone without Rclone or will I need both?

In my use case I just want to manually transfer files as I need to (preferably without having to download whats on the FTP server end on my client device) so I dont really have any need for automating downloads and so

For FTP you'll need both rclone and WinFSP. WinFSP on its own just provides the file system bit, it doesn't do the interfacing with cloud storage systems - rclone does that bit.

You can build lots of things with WinFSP but it is more of a building block for other programs than and end user program in its own right.

for sure, you can use winfsp without rclone.
i would not know how to do that and based on the winfsp website, there is no mention of ftp.

as i have shown you, setting up a mount with rclone is just one line of code.
so you could add your ftp server to rclone mount and then you could use windows explorer or whatever tool you use.

and rclone is free unlike the duck software.

cheers for beers

Aha okay, do guys happen to know the spesefic code I would use to mount a FTP server with the standard FTP protocol (with login username and pass) using Rclone and WinFSP as well? :wink:

my advice is to do this in two steps.
add your ftp server to rclone
then do a test such as

rclone ls ftpserver:

once that is done work on rclone mount.

we can help as needed.

WinFSP is more of a framework for creating a mount for a non-native filesystem than a tool of it's own.
I'm pretty sure you need some kind of backend for it to be useful.
In this case, rclone is the backend that does the work behind the scenes - and then delivers it to Winfsp so that it can be directly connected to the OS in a way it can understand. rclone again has many backends it can use - to connect to a whole host of different server-systems - especially cloud ones (but also many common simple ones like FTP).
I'm probably oversimplifying as I'm not an expert on Winfsp (or FUSE, the equivalent for Linux that is the base for Winfsp), but that's the gist of it.

So TLDR - you will probably want to install Winfsp (extremely simple) and then use rclone.

Then all you need to do is run config, use the interactive guide to set up an FTP remote, and then use the rclone mount command to attach it to windows.

A really basic setup if easy to do and requires minimal understanding thanks to the interactive setup.
From there you can explore the many tweakable options to optimize performance or change the behavior to your needs.

I'm a windows regular myself, so feel free to ask and I can give you very spesific examples once you are past the most basic setup :slight_smile:

To get started, do what asdffdsa said then come back when you get stuck or have questions.

So what do I do once I've configured a ftp connection with rclone config?

To make a guess, do I just have to run the rclone mount remote:path/to/files X: cmd to mount the drive and then its finished? And if so what do I replace path/to/files with if I just want it to be mounted right next to my C: drive (In "This PC" as the location is called in File Explorer)?

why not try it yourself first and see what happens?

Im getting some error in return, same thing happens when I run seemingly any cmd with remote:

What does this actually mean? <3

C:\Users\Oliver>rclone mount remote:path/to/files X:
2019/09/25 22:17:15 Failed to create file system for "remote:path/to/files": didn't find section in config file

what is the exact name of the remote that you created with rclone config?
if you are not sure, run this command

rclone config dump

and what is the exact rclone command that you are using?

on your ftp server, you have folder named path, and a under that a folder named to and under that a folder name files?

rclone n, and I just tried putting in a directory of choice, like rclone mount remote:C:\Users\Oliver\Desktop\Olliver\programs\rclone-v1.49.3-windows-amd64\directories\bedwars Z: lol

So do I put something related to rclone n at path/to/files ?

i am not understanding you?
what is rlcone n?

please answer my questions so i can help you.

on your ftp server, you have folder named path , and a under that a folder named to and under that a folder name files ?

Do you mean on the FTP itself and not locally related to the remote location I setup with rclone config? If so then no?

what is the exact name of the remote you created with rclone config?

i am not understanding you?
what is rlcone n ?

please answer my questions so i can help you.

C:\Users\Oliver>rclone config dump
"rclone n": {
"host": "Just",
"pass": "A",
"port": "Very",
"type": "Little",
"user": "Private"