Do I need mergerfs? Using rclone mount with gdrive for Plex

I am looking to set up gdrive storage for my plex server through rclone mount and have it set up so plex can read and play of the mount as well as local files.

My end goal is to have all my files backed up to the googledrive but also keep some harder to find files locally as well and have plex see it all as one.

What I do not understand is why I need to use mergerfs or rclone union to join the cloud and local storage into one folder? How does this differ from me adding 2 folders to the plex library (one for local and one for cloud)?

Since all the other apps sonarr, radarr... will be directed to my local storage, I can have a script running to copy the local files to the cloud.

Am I missing something or does this achieve the same thing without having to hassle with cloud storage?

Additionally, with a merged folder, how will it handle duplicates?

Which OS you are using and how many bits (eg Windows 7, 64 bit)

Raspbian buster 32bit on Raspberry pi 4 4gb

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

Google drive

You can remove cloud storage from the mix and just think of two hard drives.

The use case for mergerfs is using a single path for numerous disks underneath it. That gives you benefits of not changing paths in multiple applications and allows for Radarr/Sonarr/Plex all to point to the same paths.

The beauty of a union or mergerfs is that you define the policy of how the disks act underneath.

For example, I write everything to local storage first and I upload to my Google Drive every night in the middle of the night.

So if you have /disk1/tvshow.mkv and you move it to /disk2/tvshow.mkv, you'd use a union or mergerfs so you can just have /tv/tvshow.mkv so it doesn't care if you move it from disk1 to disk2. If you are using /disk1/tvshow.mkv and you move it to disk2, Sonarr sees the file as missing and redownloads it.

If your use case doesn't care about paths changing, don't use a union or mergerfs. It's really how you want to deploy and what works best for how you want to use all your software together.

What works for me and my setup might be very bad for your setup and how your work flow goes.

I'd figure out workflow first and what you want to happen and design a solution around it as opposed to trying to fit a solution to your work flow.

Thanks very much for your reply! That makes it a bit more clearer.

My confusion with a combined folder is how it handles duplicates. For example, I want to keep some files both locally and backed up incase internet goes down or other reasons I lose my cloud files.

In this case, if i had a movie in drive1/movie/movie.mkv and then i copy it to cloud/movie/movie.mkv, how would mergefs / union show this when I merge drive1 and cloud?

I swear I'm not trying to be difficult, but it depends :slight_smile:

You can pick the policy based on how you want it to operate. My policy tends is first found in the order of my mounts so it always reads/writes local first and cloud second. Mergerfs has quite the number of policies that can be configured almost anyway you want. The maintainer for mergerfs checks in from time to time here as well as he's very helpful and knowledgable if there are questions. You can usually tag him or most times if we mention mergerfs (like Beetlejuice), he just appears.

Thank you! I wasnt aware of the mergerfs policies.

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