Rclone is a command line program to manage files on cloud storage. It can back-up, restore and mirror data from or to the Cloud. (Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, …)

In this guide I will be mirroring a Google Drive folder in a directory on my Raspberry Pi 4 using the Rclone docker container. This guide assumed that you have already installed Docker and Docker Compose on your Raspberry Pi.


Step 1: Folder preparation

  1. Create local folders to store RClone configuration + where the Google Drive folder will be mounted
sudo mkdir -p /opt/rclone /mnt/drive && sudo chown -R $(id -u):$(id -g) /opt/rclone /mnt/drive

Step 2: Configure Rclone Google Drive remote

  1. Start configuring Rclone remotes (Google Drive)
docker run --rm -it \
    --volume /opt/rclone:/config/rclone \
    --volume /mnt:/data:shared \
    --user $(id -u):$(id -g) \
    rclone/rclone config
  1. Create a new remote called gdrive
No remotes found - make a new one
n) New remote
s) Set configuration password
q) Quit config
n/s/q> n
name> gdrive

After providing a name, Rclone will ask you to select the desired storage. In my case I entered “13” (=Google Drive)

  1. Create API credentials for Google Drive

Follow the steps provided by the link that you are given or view them here.

  1. Select the “scope” that you want to use depending on your use case
Scope that rclone should use when requesting access from drive.
Enter a string value. Press Enter for the default ("").
Choose a number from below, or type in your own value
 1 / Full access all files, excluding Application Data Folder.
   \ "drive"
 2 / Read-only access to file metadata and file contents.
   \ "drive.readonly"
   / Access to files created by rclone only.
 3 | These are visible in the drive website.
   | File authorization is revoked when the user deauthorizes the app.
   \ "drive.file"
   / Allows read and write access to the Application Data folder.
 4 | This is not visible in the drive website.
   \ "drive.appfolder"
   / Allows read-only access to file metadata but
 5 | does not allow any access to read or download file content.
   \ "drive.metadata.readonly"
scope> 2

In my case I’m setting up a read-only folder, so I went for option number 2.

  1. Select Google Drive folder
ID of the root folder
Leave blank normally.

Fill in to access "Computers" folders (see docs), or for rclone to use
a non root folder as its starting point.

Enter a string value. Press Enter for the default ("").

If you want to mount a particular Google Drive folder enter the ID, else you can leave this empty. The next commands up until “Remote config” can be continued using their default value.

  1. Remote config

In my case, I’m running this on a headless Raspberry Pi 4 which does not have any desktop functionality so I picked “N”. Follow the required steps.

Remote config
Use auto config?
 * Say Y if not sure
 * Say N if you are working on a remote or headless machine
y) Yes (default)
n) No
y/n> N
Please go to the following link: <link-will-be-here>
Log in and authorize rclone for access
Enter verification code> REDACTED
  1. Team Drive

No, unless yes ;)

Configure this as a team drive?
y) Yes
n) No (default)
  1. Finishing up

Once you finished going through the last step, you will get a short summary which you just have to confirm. The newly created gdrive remote should be listed.

Current remotes:

Name                 Type
====                 ====
gdrive               drive

e) Edit existing remote
n) New remote
d) Delete remote
r) Rename remote
c) Copy remote
s) Set configuration password
q) Quit config
e/n/d/r/c/s/q> q

Step 3: Mount Rclone gdrive remote

Please note that in my case I have a “Media” folder in the “root_folder_id” I have set in the previous step. If you do not have this folder you need to adjust (or remove) it from the command below:

docker run --rm \
    --name rclone-gdrive-mount \
    --volume /opt/rclone:/config/rclone \
    --volume /mnt:/data:shared \
    --user $(id -u):$(id -g) \
    --volume /etc/passwd:/etc/passwd:ro \
    --volume /etc/group:/etc/group:ro \
    --device /dev/fuse \
    --cap-add SYS_ADMIN \
    --security-opt apparmor:unconfined \
    rclone/rclone \
    mount gdrive:Media /data/drive &

Note: Someone brought up in the comments that if you want share your mounted gdrive folder using SMB you have to add --allow-other as additional parameter to the mount command.

You should now have your Google Drive mounted in /mnt/drive on your local disk ;)