Creating secure backups using Rclone, pCloud and an external drive on Linux


3 min read

Creating backups of your data is essential. Everyone has heard the saying, "It's not a matter of if your hard drive will fail, but when." The best protection against this inevitable problem is regular backups. One strategy to ensure you always have access to copies of your data is the 3-2-1 backup rule. This rule involves having at least three copies of your data, storing two backup copies on different media, and keeping one of them off-site. In this article, we will discuss how to apply this strategy using Rclone, Pcloud, and an external hard drive.

Configuring Pcloud with Rclone

First, install Rclone. On a Linux machine, you can do this by typing curl | sudo bash in the terminal. Next, you will need to configure Rclone with Pcloud. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Run rclone config in the terminal. This will start the configuration process.

  2. Type n for a new remote and give it a name, e.g., “pcloud”.

  3. Select “Pcloud” as the type of storage to configure.

  4. Follow the instructions to enter your Pcloud credentials.

  5. After entering your credentials, complete the configuration process by selecting the options that best suit your needs.

Configuring an External Hard Drive with Rclone

Configuring an external hard drive with Rclone is straightforward. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer.

  2. Run rclone config in the terminal.

  3. Type n for a new remote and give it a name, e.g., “external”.

  4. Select “Local” as the type of storage to configure.

  5. Follow the instructions to set up the drive. You will need to provide the path to the drive.

Performing Backups with Rclone

Now that everything is set up, you can start making backups. The command you will use is rclone sync. For example, to back up the /data directory to Pcloud, type: rclone sync /data pcloud:/backup. Similarly, to back up to an external drive, type: rclone sync /data external:/backup.

Automating the Backup Process

The last step is to automate the backup process, so you don’t have to remember to do it. On Linux, you can do this using the cron tool. Here’s how to set up automatic backups to run once a week at 8:00 PM:

  1. Open the crontab by typing crontab -e in the terminal.

  2. Add the following line at the end of the file: 0 20 * * 1 rclone sync /data pcloud:/backup

  3. Save and close the file.


Regular backups are crucial for the security of your data. With Rclone, Pcloud, and an external hard drive, creating backups that comply with the 3-2-1 rule is simpler than ever. Remember, you can always adjust this process to fit your needs by adding more folders to the backup or changing the backup schedule. Either way, your data will be safe.