Using Rsync via Rclone, possible?

Hello, Rclone forum. This is my first post.

I'm trying/hoping to use Rsync through (or together with) Rclone, because I was told Rsync could not connect to through other protocols than SSH, while Rclone was great at creating connections through all kinds of protocols and APIs.

My intention is to make a Bash-script which would perform a multilevel full/differential/incremental backup to a fairly well known cloud storage service.

I've been successful in configuring- and connecting to my cloudservice via Rclone, a surprisingly great program which was unknown to me before. However, it seems Rclone's flexibility in creating complex procedures are somewhat limited, compared to Rsync.
For example comparing local folder contents to existing cloud content, and then uploading the differences to a different separate folder labeled by date - and similar operations, this seems to be out of Rclone's scope or usage(?)

I was told Rsync and Rclone are perfectly compatible, which gave me a general impression that rsync could perhaps connect to a cloudprovider via for ex FTP or Webdav 'through' the rclone remote connection, or something of that kind. But I've been unable to find information online which explains how to use them in conjunction with each other, for example how to use Rsync to connect to a service via Rclone, and similar. My own experimentation have been unsuccessful too.

My question is however I seem to have been misinformed, or misunderstood the possibilities of rsync and rclone to work together? Or if this is possible in some way that seems to elude me?
And if this is not possible, are there perhaps still some way that rclone and/or rsync could be used for relatively advanced operations like I'm hoping to create?

Thank you for any help or comments

Hi Corine,

I recommend you consider rsync and rclone as completely different tools.

They have some common functionality like synchronizing files to a remote server, but once you dig a bit deeper in the possibilities and limitations, they are quite different.

You may be able to achieve your goal by using rclone sync with --backup-dir and associated flags/options.

You may also be able to achieve you goal by using rsync to a (remote) folder exposed by rclone mount.

Finally, there are services like that together with rclone may fit your needs. HowToGuide.

I suggest you play a bit with the above possibilities to see which (if any) of them fit your needs.

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@Ole: Thank you for nice suggestions. :slight_smile: Sounds like a good springboard to try.

I started by trying the idea with using --Backup-dir first. Seems my Rclone doesn't recognize the --"Backup-dir" flag, at all. Perhaps I'm using a lesser able version version of Rclone? I'm on Windows 10 using the Ubuntu 20.04 Windows subsystem, also known as WSL (version 1). Perhaps there are different versions of Rclone that does recognize the --backup-dir (and other) flags?

You can check your version by this command:

./rclone version

I would recommend 1.55.1 at the moment - 1.56 is pretty new and has some issues. You can find it here.

the correct flag is lowercase --backup-dir

if that does not fix the problem, run the command, post the command and output text

i use w10 using ubuntu 20.04 but using wsl2, tho the version of wsl would not matter in this case.
rclone v1.56.0 runs fine on that including --backup-dir

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