Difference between mounting and serving through WebDAV

I was wondering… in Windows one can mount a WebDAV source as a network drive. This would allow to have only rclone running as a service and eliminate the need for Winfsp.

Are there any advantages in using the mount command, compared to using serve with WebDAV?

I think there are pros and cons. The webdav protocol isn't very full featured so doesn't support modification times - that is probably the biggest thing you'll notice.

WinFSP is super reliable but it might be the Windows WebDAV network drive code is even more reliable - I don't know!

Give it a go and tell us how it went :slight_smile:

Modification times are not interesting in this use case, as this would just be a "media machine". Playing back stuff on the cloud.

WinFSP has been good for me, for a long time. But recently I updated it to the 2022 release and I started having problems. In seemingly random way, from time to time, transfer rates were capped at 14-18Mbps. Which was leading to stutter in playback (that's how I noticed). I first reverted to rclone 1.57 from 1.58.1 but the problem did not go away. Now it's been two days on WinFSP 2019 and I've never had the problem happen.

Clearly not very scientific but I did not know how else to solve this. Debug logs for rclone were showing exactly zero problems during stuttering moments. And I am sure it wasn't my ISP throttling me because often it went away by simply seeking ahead (thus requesting different chunks).

As such I was considering taking away the "middle man" (WinFSP), leading to a more streamlined configuration.
Although the current one seems good (WinFSP 2019 and rclone 1.57). I'll probably try to update again 1.58.1 and see if it stays ok.

It's worth an experiment with WebDAV.

I don't know how the windows WebDAV client works but it is probably in a similar way to winfsp so you are swapping one middle man for another.

Btw how do you set it up? O keep meaning to give it a try. I know very little about windows though!

I did rclone serve WebDAV, specified the port and then mounted the WebDAV as a disk, using the map network disk native windows functionality.

Everything worked BUT for reasons I wasn’t able to understand, movies were not openable. PDFs on Google Drive opened with no problem, pictures no problem, music flac files no problem.
MKVs did not.

Went back to mount, will probably revisit in the future.

This is the log with the video files I tried to open: rclone WebDAV - Pastebin.com (edited for clarity)

I am on macOS so it isn't going to be identical but I've found that mounting (on macOS with FUSE) is better if you don't mess it up. What I mean by that is you only stop the mount (whether active or --daemon) it is fine. But if you CTRL+C a FUSE mount, you are in for a bad time.

On the other hand, WebDAV can only be stopped by the rclone process. Ejecting doesn't do anything.

Cryptomator offers both and they say that mount is better than WebDAV except that WebDAV is more compatible. I'd say the same is true for rclone. In general, I only use WebDAV over mount when I can't (or don't want to) install FUSE