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An experimental rclone wrapper for Kobo ereaders
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A WIP rclone wrapper for Kobo ereaders

What is rclone?

In their own words, rclone is "rsync for cloud storage". It is available from

It is a CLI program to sync files from a large number of different 'cloud' backends.

And kobo-rclone?

kobo-rclone is both a wrapper for the rclone binary to sync ebooks onto a Kobo ereader wirelessly, and a metadata parser/updater, when used in conjunction with Calibre's "Connect to folder" feature. More specifically, kobo-rclone can currently add series information to book entries after a sync.



  • Now integrates FBInk as a static library in the binary. No need to download it separately now. Instead, a wrapper called go-fbink has been created.
  • Uses the newly created fbink_button_scan() function to detect the Nickel USB connect screen. Additionally, it also handles pressing the button automatically as well. Dumping your own touch event is no longer necessary.
  • Safety checks added to ensure filesystem mounts/unmounts occur as they should.


  • Initial release


kobo-rclone is NOT yet suitable for everyday use, therefore no binaries are available at this point. Installing from source is as follows:

Obtain Go

Install the Go distribution for your platform. See for documentation.

Install dependencies

kobo-rclone uses the go-sqlite3 package to interface with the Kobo DB. Unfortunately, this require CGO support. First, install go-sqlite3 with

go get

You will need an ARM GCC cross compiler available to build kobo-rclone correctly with go-sqlite3. gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-4.8-2013.04-20130417 has been used successfully. Extract it to a directory of your choosing, and set the CC and CXX environment variables to path/to/gcc and path/to/g++ respectively.

kobo-rclone now uses a wrapper called go-fbink to use FBInk. Install it with:

go get

Obtain kobo-rclone

kobo-rclone can be downloaded using go get

go get

Building Binary

The following environment variables need to be set to compile kobo-rclone


A script or batch file may be helpful to set these for a terminal session.

To build, run the following command, once the above environment variables have been set.

go build go/src/

A binary called krclone will be copied to the current directory.

Note that fbink is now included as a static library, and should now be included in the main binary after this step.

You may also wish to strip the binary using path/to/toolchain/toolchain-strip krclone, where toolchain is the name of your chosen cross compiler.

Obtaining rclone

Rclone is available as an ARM binary. Visit the download page and download the Linux, ARM 32-bit distribution from the table.

Installing on Kobo

Currently, telnet or SSH access to a Kobo device is almost mandatory.

On the main memory of your Kobo (/mnt/onboard), create the directory .adds/kobo-rclone

Copy the rclone and krclone binaries to the kobo-rclone directory on the Kobo.

Rclone require a configuration file. kobo-rclone is configured to use rclone.conf in the kobo-rclone directory. This file may be generated on the Kobo, or your development PC. To generate on the Kobo:

# cd /mnt/onboard/.adds/kobo-rclone
# ./rclone config --config "./rclone.conf"

follow the interactive prompts for your cloud provider. I have currently tested with SFTP. Note kobo-rclone is currently configured to use the root of whatever 'cloud' directory you set up. This could be made configurable later.

Runing kobo-rclone

Running kobo-rclone is currently a simple affair. From telnet/SSH:

# cd /mnt/onboard/.adds/kobo-rclone
# ./krclone

// wait for sync, then for Nickel to process files, if any
// run again to process any metadata, such as updating series info.

Synced books are stored in /mnt/onboard/krclone-books

It is higly recommended to use Calibre's "Connect to folder" option to "connect" to your sync directory on your PC. This transferrs the .metadata.calibre file used by kobo-rclone to populate the series entry in the Kobo DB. It is also recommended to disable unsupported filetypes in the "connect to folder" settings.

Future plans

Once this project has had further testing, bug fixing, and improvements, a binary release will be made available to simplify deployment. It will then be integrated with Kute File Monitor to enable using it without telnet/SSH


This project is very much still a WORK IN PROGRESS. It could corrupt your Kobo database. It could corrupt your books/database partition. Be prepared to perform a factory reset if and when things go wrong.

Use this software AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Further information.

This project includes fbink by @NiLuJe, which is a tool to print stuff on eink screens.

fbink is licensed under the AGPL3 license. It can be found at the following github repository:

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