Google Drive vs Google Cloud Storage

I'm trying to use Google Drive to backup a FreeNAS device. FreeNAS uses rclone for this, so I decided to come here for help, coming to the horse's mouth so to speak.

AFAIK, instructions for setting up rclone w/ GD requires obtaining a token. E.g., see this blog post for an example. But if you look further on in this example, " Use case - Google Apps/G-suite account and individual Drive," it calls for using the Google Developer Console to create a project, and projects on the GDC are NOT standard GD features. Instead, they are associated with Google Cloud Storage. Especially on a Google for Education site, which is based on G-Suite, one frequently finds GCS features to be disabled. So one can't create projects.

I installed rclone on my Mac and, in the shell, tried setting up a remote to my GD using "rclone config," as shown on the example page. It didn't work, and I suspect the GD-GCS overlap is why.

I'm new to rclone, GCS, and GD/GCS returning tokens. So maybe I'm misunderstanding this.

But if not, is there any way to configure rclone to use GD without using the Developer Console and GCS services, like projects?

If you configure rclone, by default it doesn't need a project.

You are still using a project though, one owned by rclone which can sometimes be oversubscribed and a bit slow.

Did you leave client_id and client_secret blank? That should have worked I would have thought.

Thanks for the reply, ncw. I think I did, but I'll try again. This time, I'll be as plain vanilla as possible.

But before I do, I have one additional question. Is the token returned by the "rclone config" procedure reusable? In other words, can I copy and paste it elsewhere, where a similar token is used? Even on a different computer?

I'm asking this because FreeNAS has a task interface that schedules and otherwise manages rclone tasks. Eventually, once I get plain vanilla rclone working with GD, I want to migrate to the FreeNAS interface. I suppose I may have to migrate configuration files, or even edit them, but the easiest thing would be simply cutting and pasting the token during the standard FreeNAS configuration process.

Yes you can. You can copy the config file between computers and it should work just fine.

Google Cloud and Google Drive are different systems (although their controls are somewhat integrated).

You don't need any sort of special account to make an API key for a normal Gdrive. Just a regular old free Google account is sufficient. The site you need to do this on is here:

If you can not access that for whatever reason then that is very curious... because I've never seen that be the case. If so you could just use your private gmail account to do the job (or make a new free account). The API key can be made from any account - it doesn't have to be the one that has access to the drive necessarily.

Thanks for the info. FWIW, here's what happens:

  • I go to the site you mention and log in with my Google-for-Education account credentials.
  • Then, on the Dashboard tab, I see "To view this page, select a project."
  • Since I have no projects, I click the CREATE button instead.
  • Then, for now, just select the defaults for the new project and press the CREATE button.
  • This takes me back to the Dashboard tab, where a circling wheel spins indefinitely but nothing else happens.

I'll try using a different account and report back.

I think that spinning wheel is som of the setup steps for the project. I think it's normal for that to take several minutes. However if I remember correctly you should be able to configure the project immediately. Check the top left of the screen next to the google logo and see if you can see (or select from that menu) your new project name.

Then when you have selected the project you should be able to go into the "credentials" menu and do what you need there.

Note that there is a step-by-step tutorial on making an API key on the Google Drive documentation (bottom of page):

This guides you step-by-step. Start with that, and ask me if you get confused at some point. I think it should still be largely correct and up to date.

Here's an update on how I managed to configure rclone. The documentation gives an example using G-suite, which tells users to use the Google Developer Console. A bit later it talks about using the Google API Console to generate a client_id.

But I couldn't get either to work. Thanks to thestigma's post, I realized I could use a plain vanilla Google account for this. But before trying that, I tried two different accounts with no success. Both are associated with universities (alma mater and ex-employer), so I assume they're both using Google for Education. When I tried to generate the credentials from either account, I got a message saying I'm not authorized to create a project or retrieve credentials. But these messages stopped when I used a plain vanilla Google account, even though the data were going to be stored on alma mater's storage.

From this experience I surmise that GFE accounts lack sufficient permission to generate client credentials or to set up rclone for a user within a G-suite (GFE) domain. But once I used the credentials from the plain vanilla Google account, problems were minimal.

Good to hear this worked out for you :slight_smile:

I am not that surprised that edu accounts have some different restrictions to them, but it certainly not an obvious thing to think about.