Can rclone warn when remote file to be overwritten has changed since last download?

What is the problem you are having with rclone?

I want to understand whether rclone can help me safely work on the files on a remote without overwriting work done on them in the mean time by my colleagues.

Perhaps rclone mount is an option for this, but I’m not familiar with it yet and the warnings at https://rclone.org/commands/rclone_mount/#rclone-mount-vs-rclone-sync-copy make me wonder if a mounting path is likely to be a steep and thorny one to travel.

On the other hand, with rclone copy $local remote:, I currently see no way to have rclone check and warn before overwriting a file that has changed on the remote since I last downloaded it. --update makes it possible to check whether the local or the remote version was modified most recently, but that does not protect against situations where the sequence is (1) download remote copy to local, (2) remote version modified, (3) local version modified, (4) upload local version to remote, overwriting remote version.

In a case like this, Google’s version history will preserve the changes, but what I want is to be made aware of the situation without having to check manually whether there has been a conflict.

I assume that this is a common desire but I've been unable to find prior discussions of it on here; I'd be grateful to be pointed to something I've overlooked! Or equally to learn that mounting is the usual way to achieve what I want with rclone.

Run the command 'rclone version' and share the full output of the command.

rclone v1.59.1

  • os/version: debian 11.5 (64 bit)
  • os/kernel: 4.19.0-6-amd64 (x86_64)
  • os/type: linux
  • os/arch: amd64
  • go/version: go1.18.5
  • go/linking: static
  • go/tags: none

Which cloud storage system are you using? (eg Google Drive)

Google Drive

The rclone config contents with secrets removed.

type = drive
client_id = id-stuff-here.apps.googleusercontent.com
client_secret = some-secret
scope = drive
token = {"access_token":"stuff-here","token_type":"Bearer","refresh_token":"stuff-here","expiry":"2022-09-22T18:30:53.382947633+02:00"}
team_drive = 

hello and welcome to the forum,

that would be found in the rclone log file.

It sounds like you might want to be using rclone bisync which keeps a local database of modification times and can detect upstream changes and resolve conflicts: Bisync

Thank-you both for your prompt replies! I'll take a look at bisync – it sounds like just the ticket.