How can I access Rclone encrypted photos & videos on my PC, Mac or Linux computer?

Using the Rclone command line application you can access photos & videos encrypted by PhotoSync also on your Mac, PC and Linux computer.

Step 1

Download the Rclone command line application for your platform / architecture from the Rclone Website and then copy the rclone binary to a location of your choice on your computer.

On Linux you can also install Rclone using package manager (e.g. apt install rclone) or on macOS you can use homebrew (brew install rclone). We however, recommend to download the newest version from the Rclone Website.

Step 2

To configure Rclone in order to access the encrypted photos & videos there are 2 possible options:

  1. Use the rclone.conf file you saved from PhotoSync
    Note: If you did not save the rclone.conf file during the PhotoSync configuration, you can do that at any time by opening the PhotoSync settings. Then tap "Configure", choose your target service (e.g. SMB) and then tap "Client-Side Encryption". Then tap "Download Configuration".
    Now copy the contents of the rclone.conf file you saved from PhotoSync into the existing rclone.conf file on your computer.
    You can get the path of the existing rclone.conf file using the command rclone config file

  2. Use rclone config command with the following steps:

    1. rclone config
    2. Type "n" for new remote
    3. Enter a remote name (e.g. smb_crypt)
    4. Choose the Encrypt/Decrypt a remote (crypt). For the current version thats Nr. 14
    5. For the remote enter the service you want to access e.g. smbnas:
      Note: You need to create a configuration for the service beforehand
    6. Choose 1) to encrypt file names (or the option that matches for PhotoSync configuration)
    7. Choose 1) to encrypt directory names (or the option that matches for PhotoSync configuration)
    8. Type "y" to enter the password you used in PhotoSync
    9. Type "y" to enter the Salt you used in PhotoSync (optional)
    10. Type "n" to skip the advanced config configuration
    11. Type "y" to save the configuration

Step 3

You can now access the encrypted photos & videos and execute commands as:

  • List the contents of the remote: rclone ls smb_crypt:
  • Copy a file from the remote to your local machine: rclone cp copy smb_crypt:/Recents/IMG_0001.JPG ~/Photos

smb_crypt: is used as an example here. Replace it with the name of the crypt configuration from your rclone.conf file.

Make an encrypted remote available over WebDAV

You can also make an encrypted remote available over WebDAV and then access it using a browser, a WebDAV client or access it directly from your Windows Explorer, macOS Finder or Linux File Manager. Use the following command:

rclone serve webdav smb_crypt: --user admin --pass secretpassword --addr :8081

This command starts a WebDAV server that you can access using the login / password admin / secret password on Port 8081.

Mount an encrypted volume on your Mac, PC or Linux computer as drive

You can also mount the Rclone encrypted remote as a dedicated drive on your computer. To do so use the following command:

  • Windows rclone mount smb_crypt: g:
  • macOS rclone mount -o local smb_crypt: ~/rclone_mount --daemon
  • Linux rclone mount s3: ~/rclone_mount --daemon

On macOS macFuse needs to be installed to mount Rclone remotes as a drive.
On macOS only the Rclone binary available on the RClone Website supports mounting as a drive; the homebrew version does not support this feature
On macOS and Windows ~/rclone_mount is an example of a directory created in the home directory as mount point
Mounted Rclone remotes will refresh its contents by default every 5 minutes. You can use the parameter --dir-cache-time 30s to force a refresh time of e.g. 30 seconds.

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