Should rclone engage --vfs-cache-mode writes automatically?

I see a lot of user problems with the default of --vfs-cache-mode off - the error message in the log tells you what to do, but that isn't immediately obvious to most people.

So I was wondering if rclone detects a situation where "writes" would have helped, should it engage it automatically?

If the user explicitly sets a --vfs-cache-mode then rclone will obey it, but the default might become "auto" which starts out as "off" and auto upgrades to "writes" if required.

Comments please!

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vfs is a complex and confusing thing to set up and tweak, second only to filters.
so i understand the motivation of creating a --nanny-mode=on for newbies, but seems to me that is not what rclone is about.

the idea of any program, on the fly, behind the scenes, changing a flag value that was not explicitly set by the user, is not the way to go.

perhaps we create --vfs-cache-mode=auto.
that would allow rclone to tweak, on the fly, the vfs settings as needed.

perhaps merge that will the new forthcoming --vfs-cache-mode=full as you call that the preferred mode.

perhaps different modes, with intelligent defaults.
--vfs-cache-mode=media for plex and media streaming.
--vfs-cache-mode=backup for copy/moving files for backups and whatnot.

Hmm, interesting idea - --vfs-profile maybe?

Having it turn on would confuse people more I think as it would fill up their local disk.

I rather have the questions come in and it can be explained.

Each use case is a bit different so trying to make a profile for each becomes a bit confusing.

With the new cache going on, I think we should solicit some feedback and have some of those settings more default and on.

I'm not sure on having full on all the time as with sparse files, that will definitely confuse but I do think full mode on is just the best default as that will cover generally everything and they can opt to turn it off.

It might be worth tweaking/discussing the defaults as the advance user is going to move the cache anyway and stuff like that.

Definitely a good topic!

The default VFS settings are optimised for the least local storage which unfortunately is the least compatible setting in file system terms.

It might be nice to change this I don't want to rush into anything!

as with the 'old' cache backend, the values are stored as a remote in the config file.

perhaps we can create a cache remote in the config file, using the new settings
for newbies, there can be a simple wizard that asks some simple questions and then create entry in the config file.
question 1 - what is the purpose of the mount?

  1. play media
    a. low res
    b. 4k
  2. backup files

question 2 - are you concerned about disk space?

question 3 - quality of internet connection.

  1. results of or something other
  2. need to share bandwidth with other apps

All good stuff here. I think most users new to Rclone have no idea what they really need. A lot of them run Plex, either locally or on a VPS/dedicated server. The latter more often than not has very limited space, but usually great Internet speed. In that case, there's no need for a cache. I also think it's beneficial to run separate mounts for uploading/editing and downloading/streaming, but of course that complicates things again for the average user.

Perhaps simply posting a big, fat, sticky "READ ME FIRST!!!" that goes over a few simple scenarios would be best. Then again, as we all know, the "I followed this guide I found on the Interwebs from three years ago" won't go anywhere.

But Nick, just like Jojo and Felix (it is Felix, isn't it?), I would also suggest to not make "auto" the default.

--vfs-profile, that is a good name
there could be 20+ profiles
and the end-user can pick a profile

it would take into account the backend, use and local resources.

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I think some, though not all, of the config issues, including cache settings, would be ameliorated with examples and motivations of different "common" settings.

I consider myself an intermediate to advanced rclone user and I have to lookup common settings and tweaks whenever I do a mount.

I like the idea of profiles as it would be a good set of examples, especially if they are annotated, but even just more examples would be good. Preferably with discussion of the different tradeoffs.

When I see some really complex mount commands, I am always curious how they were derived. What are the pros and cons of flags that seem to complete?

I think it is okay that rclone is not for novice CLI users but it would be helpful to have more resources for learning

I think a lot of that goes away with the changing out of the cache backend and things become more default. The issue with the cache backend was that is sat on top of another backend and was confusing (imo).

Like what? Most of the settings, the push is to make them default if it makes sense with the only outlier for me being dir-cache-time since I use a polling remote so I can make that value huge.

I think profiles makes yet one more thing a majority of users are not going to read or use anyway. The percentage of posts that actually file in a template is amazingly low so going somewhere to read on tens of profiles would not generate much bang for the buck since home configurations are so widely unique. The majority of problems from what I see tend to come from the media players or lack of understanding of Plex as rclone with defaults generally works very well.

I'd be more apt to beef up the existing documentation and patch any holes and push towards more defaults so there is less to touch out of the box for the majority of folks using the tool.

(Text is odd at times so I am just offering my perspective and nothing more so please do not read into anything as I fully understand other people have much different perceptions which are all valuable to the conversation so please share them!)

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My 2 cents: In various forums I've tried helping people with their vfs cache and mount settings. Roughly 98% of users, including experienced ones, are simply not sure where to start much less what settings to tweak. To some extent this is related to the "brand new" features and flags of the wonder-cache :wink: , so with time the confusion should die down.

It's hard to see a downside in having a few examples of recommended settings. And, if possible, a couple of 'presets'. What asdffdsa suggested or --vfs-profile sounds like a great start.

Perhaps a very small number of suggestions. For example:

  • Default vfs cache settings work pretty well in most cases. Try them first.
  • If you have fast fibre then try --flag1 set to aaa or bbb
  • If you have fast / large nvme space then try --flag1

For vfs mounts don't bother using these flags:

  • --flag3
  • --flag4

Historically I point people to Animosity's excellent example of his own settings, which he kindly updates pretty often. But it would be great to also have a simple link to give people related to the new vfs cache: Start Here

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