Non technical documentation

Are there, anywhere, discussion docs or threads with ideas / argument regarding reinforcing the non technical rclone message? I was thinking about alternative straplines(1); a really clear explanation of what rclone is; example use cases; prominent users; the benefits of using rclone, and why it is more effective than classes of alternatives, or how they work better with it.

I usefully stumbled upon rclone some time ago, and the functionality has improved/grown substantially over that time. My perception from lurking in the undergrowth around this forum and the documentation is that the emphasis might have changed. There is certainly a message to send out around rclone's varied real world application. I have my own use case, but see so many others laid out in the forum.


(1) I'm not recommending 'PIP for cloud storage', though the use of colons is striking.

Suggestions for improvements to the docs are always welcome!

I described rclone recently as "Sync your files to cloud storage with rclone" which I quite liked.

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what do you mean, what do perceive to have changed?

@ncw Suggestions for improvements to the docs are always welcome!

I will have a bit of a go - it might take me a while, or hopefully draw some gems from others.

@ncw Sync your files to cloud storage with rclone" which I quite liked

I like that too.

Sync - A good clear word the target audience understand.
your - Yes, it is for you, not for someone else.
files - Avoids getting bogged down in objects and other pedantry. People think they know what files are.
to - Nearly, it can be the other way (rclone's sync is not bidirectional) as @LinuxOnTheDesktop 's comment drew to my attention.
.cloud storage - Everyone knows what that means - especially I like the absence of improper capitals!
with - Yes, it is a direct link to rclone - the thing that will do what you need done.
rclone - Great, that puts rclone into the slogan - no rsync envy now.

How about turning the phrase around into something more direct that puts rclone at the start of the phrase and loses an excess word?

rclone syncs your files with cloud storage

I'm not sure whether to capitalise rclone/Rclone here:-

Rclone syncs your files with cloud storage

Personally I prefer the lower case. It would look twee to do something like:-

::rclone:: syncs your files with cloud storage but that probably would chew up search engine crawlers and look horrid in some fonts, though the markdown surprisingly (to me) tolerates it.
The double colons do also look a bit too APIish and that is very much what rclone users seem to be gladly avoiding.

@ncw, or anyone else, given the breadth of rclone's current capabilities have you ever thought through any subsidiary straplines relating to:-

  • Mount, mapping encryption and abstraction of drives (that isn't a finished suggestion, just a suggestion of scope!) - I'm struggling for terminology here.

  • Drawing on

Rclone is a command line program to sync files and directories to and from cloud storage systems such as Google Drive, Amazon Drive, S3, B2 etc.

As a secondary strap-line, how about something like:-

rclone's powerful set of command line file utilities extend the capability of cloud storage web interfaces without repeated recourse to their complex, diverse APIs. The approach of the utilities is familiar for ad hoc use, or can be conveniently automated - even across different cloud storage providers.

That needs a bit more work and it does run on a bit (lot). I have avoided listing cloud storage providers - that already makes a great breakout section.

(Leaving this bit for now - This could become the anything to anything, much like PIP and is, again, just a scoping statement for now.)

@asdffdsa what do you mean, what do perceive to have changed?

Just my own perception that there is a lot more capability there than there was when I first looked at using it - that may be true, or I might just have taken a long time to see the extent of it. Again, rightly or not, it has seemed to me that development has been very receptive and successful at meeting requirement challenges from users and providing new backends, utilities, flags, the server interface, and wrappers - stuff that just wasn't possible - maybe even contemplated - before.

Nice word explorations :smiley:

Yes there is a lot more things that rclone does that it didn't set out to do.

Original rclone was an rsync replacement for cloud storage.

However it does a whole lot of things rsync doesn't do now. These are probably the major ones

  • mount your cloud storage
  • serve your cloud storage over sftp/http/webdav/ftp/dlna

It also has a whole heap of related utilities

  • listing
  • hashing
  • exploring (ncdu / tree / size)
  • cat and rcat for piping too and from cloud storage

We probably shouldn't lose sight of the fact rclone is a technical tool so I'd probably keep a reference to rsync in the long blurb.

Listing the cloud providers is good for search engine hits but doesn't need to be too prominent!

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@ncw I am hoping to have a look at this at some stage over the weekend. It is mulling in my head.

rclone is a technical tool

Yes it is! Hard bitten ops and techs don't want as many superlatives as salesmen. Loss of credibility.

The file utilities are really quite significant now. I came to rclone to sync but now do stuff like pulling out a list of folders themselves contained in multiple other folders. Try doing that without rclone lsd :rofl: Now you have all those libs mapping to the various cloud API's and can contemplate things like flattening. How many times have we all needed that capability over the years - this would be effectively for all platforms.

Sometimes answering the obvious question - what is this - is the hardest bit.


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Here are some suggestions for now.

I'm not precious about these words being used in any particular order; being modified or not used at all, but it builds a bit on what the text is presently. My narrative still needs more chopping down - what is least important on page 1!

(Strapline, and headline narrative - the core text that can be used everywhere)

Rclone syncs your files with cloud storage.

It provides command line to, from and intra cloud functionality equivalent to rsync, ls, ncdu, tree, rm, cat, rcat, mv and cp (Some missing and order change needed). Rclone's familiar syntax includes shell pipeline support, and safe, 'dry run' protection for ad hoc use or in scripts.

Rclone is a feature rich alternative to cloud vendor web storage interfaces, without recourse to object level API's. Over nn cloud storage products are supported by rclone including S3 object stores and business or consumer file storage services, as well as standard transfer protocols.

Rclone is fault tolerant and file transfers are MD5 hash verified. Transfers over limited bandwidth; intermittent connections, or subject to quota can be restarted, by default, from the last good file transferred. Where possible, rclone employs server side transfers to minimise local bandwidth use.

Virtual (are these meta, not virtual?) backends, defined by rclone wrap local and cloud file systems to apply encryption, cache and conventional or union mounts that meet practical, real world requirements. Rclone serves local, cloud and these virtual (again, are they meta, not virtual?) file systems over sftp, http, webdav, ftp and dlna.

Rclone is mature, open source software originally inspired by rsync. It is energetically maintained, and supported by a welcoming community with experience of varied use cases.

Official repos for x,y and z, include rclone, or download from Rclone is widely used on Linux, Windows and Mac. Third party developers build innovative backup, restore, gui and business process solutions using rclone. It does the heavy lift of communicating with cloud servers for them. Rclone can do that for you too.

(Expansion for dedicated non tech page) (probably needs changes and re-ordering)

Rclone is great for:-

  • Backup and encryption of files to cloud storage
  • Restore and decryption of files from cloud storage
  • Mirroring cloud data to local, and backup
  • Migration of data to cloud, or between cloud storage vendors
  • Marshalling files from multiple devices prior to backup
  • Synchronisation of data between branches, head office, and cloud storage
  • Media publication workflows via vps
  • Maintenance of file resources on cloud or headless servers/appliances
  • Mounting multiple, encrypted, cached or diverse file systems
  • Union file systems presenting multiple local and/or cloud file systems
  • Analysing file data held on cloud storage

(Breakout box for use with headline material)

File system back ends supported by rclone include:-

  • (Usual great list)

SEO text maybe needs to be the various combinations of phrases such as copy files from Google Drive to Amazon S3, how to backup to Mega with encryption? or ls for the cloud.


Thank you for those words :slight_smile: I've got this page linked in my TODO for the planned site rejiggle.

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