Using Google Drive: rclone to top-level directory?

I've discovered rclone as a way to emulate (mostly) what Google Backup & Sync does on a W10 OS, combined with a cron job setup.

So at the moment I'm experimenting with the Drive of a Google email account which is different to that where I'm synching between W10 machines using GB&S.

But in fact I'm dual booting, and when in Linux I'm manipulating files that are in the "My Documents" directory in a W10 partition. This "My Documents" directory has been nominated as the GB&S "Google drive".

I therefore want to use the same Gmail account for both W10 and Linux. So far it seems the only problem with this is that by default rclone creates a directory with the name of your rclone connection, in my case "MyDocuments_from_Linux", and puts everything under it. Whereas with GB&S there is no such directory: it is all just synched under the Drive's (top-level) directory.

rclone has hundreds of flags: I just did a first quick reading through them to see whether there's a way of doing this, so that your nominated directory simply puts its subdirs and files directly under the top-level Drive directory. I couldn't see one.

Anyone know how to achieve this? Or alternatively, as a workaround, to get GB&S to synch to a subdirectory of Drive?

I'm not sure if I fully understand your problem here, but rclone has very little you can't modify. Getting rclone to put your files in whatever directory you want is trivial. What options you have with GB&S on the other hand I have no idea - but at worst you can make rclone conform to GB&S at least.

But the gist of it is that you want to use GB&S on Windows and rclone on Linux? You can run rclone on both just fine btw if you'd rather do that, but that shouldn't be a requirement.

Pretty sure you are mistaken here (or else I am misunderstanding you badly). Where the files go is entirely up to whatever transfer command you set up. No problem to transfer the files directly to the root - or any other arbitrarily named directory/sub-directory.

Perhaps you can show us the script you use and the config file (redact passwords). That might give us a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve, and if you are simply misunderstanding the syntax.

Thanks very much. I'm obviously a complete newb and didn't know that there was a Windows version.

"the script you use and the config file"... sorry but I don't know where to find these. I simply followed the special page (idiot's guide) for setting up rclone with Linux at https://rclone.org/drive/ ...

I'm also not quite clear about a few things with rclone: GB&S specifically sets up syncing, not just mirroring (backup), so that in theory you can keep multiple machines with the same data all the time (subject to latency, Net connections, etc.). Can you do that with rclone? I've been working on the assumption that it's a one-way process only.

Also I've been wondering about rclone's "monitoring abilities" - with a rclone process lasting for hours I find that some files in the local machine are not being updated in the (remote) GDrive even after a long time period. The more I can read up on how rclone actually works the better!

To find where the config file is, just use this command:

rclone config file

This will tell me all the choices you made during the "clone config" command when you set up your system, so it is helpful for me to understand your situation.

This page in the documentation also explains what those default are - and how to set a manual location if you should want to:

https://rclone.org/docs/#config-config-file

By "the script you use" I mean, what commands you are sending to rclone. I usually assume people have a script and don't manually input all their commands - but I am basically talking about the commands you type into terminal / commandline. Like for example:
rclone sync c:\MyPictures MyGDrive:\PictureBackup -v -P
(sync my pictures locally to a folder on Gdrive and tell me everything you are doing as well as give me a progress indicator)


Just to be clear, rclone doesn't do anything on it's own. You have to give it some commands.
While rclone doesn't have a 2-way sync command, you can script it easily enough using 2 commands.
If you just explain to me the spesific details of what you want, I can make that for you.

And then if you want this to happen automatically (rather than running a script manually) you would set it up to be a repeating job in either task scheduler (Windows) or cron (Linux),

Alternatively, you can use a mount command to make your Google Drive basically work like it was a normal harddrive. This is usually the best option for newbies as it's very intuitive to use once set up:
https://rclone.org/commands/rclone_mount/
I can help you make an appropriate command for that, just let me know.

This is a little hard to answer because your question is pretty vague - but you can certainly have a running output of what rclone is doing if that's what you want. On a mount, anything you do will be executed immediately. Otherwise it is entirely up to the script you choose to create.

Decide if you want help for Linux or Windows - and if you want a timed syncing script or a direct mount. Then I can guide you further. I would probably suggest a mount for ease of use - but if you need files to be accessible while offline then syncing is what you need.

Thanks very much. I will do some work on your reply and get back to this.

Take your time.

Just wanted to add:
As far as monitoring abilities we recently now got a webGUI for rclone also. It has somewhat limited functionality for now, but it is likely much easier to understand than looking at text-output from rclone.