Roy and Niels

Roy and Niels

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yet another ssh wonder: SSHFS

SSHFS is a file system which is capable of mounting remote filesystems locally on a computer if the remote system can be accessed by ssh.

This is a very interesting alternative to NFS or Samba based filesystems. First of all, it can be operated entirely from userspace, which is cool. Contrary to NFS, any user can mount any remote directory he or she has access to via ssh.

There are no locking issues with SSHFS, which makes it robust and free of the infamous "NFS stale handles". The speed is inferior to NFS and not recommended for intensive use, but it is perfect for occasional work.

On Debian you merely need to install the sshfs package and its dependencies, e.g.: (as root)

$ apt-get install sshfs

Then you need to add all the users to the fuse group. E.g. the user bassler can be added:

$ adduser bassler fuse

after this, you must logout of the system (entirely, yes. Like exiting your X session, and logging in again. Just closing and opening the terminal window wont be sufficient).
That's it.

Now the (non-root) user you have added to the fuse group can mount remote directories:

$ sshfs /local/directory

Unmounting can be realized with

$ fusermount -u /local/directory

What I still miss, is an automount solution.

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