How-To Software Technical

Mounting a remote file system using ssh (sshfs)

For some time I have always used tools such as scp sftp to copy files between Linux based systems. Until the growing need to have this process simplified.  I recently fell in love with Linux all over again with the new release of Ubuntu.  I always had known it was possible but never had the direct need to mount ssh file systems remotely.  This is where some Google searching and SSHFS and FUSE came into play on my home systems.

So what are some things I found out?  Well for one; as long as I have SSH access to a remote system I can use SSHGS to mount and use the remote directories as if they were on my local system.  SSHGS require no special software on the remote host so this is good in a hosted situation where you have no control over what gets installed.

This is where I give you the * filler * info on SSHFS.

SSHFS is built upon the FUSE user-space file-system framework project.  FUSE allows user-space software; in my case SSH to present a file-system that is virtually interfaced to the end use.  SSHFS connect to the remote system and does all the necessary operations to provide the look and feel of a regular file-system.

So now what?

First we need to start off by installing sshfs if not already installed.  I am using Ubuntu like I had mentioned above so by typing sudo apt-get install sshfs that installs all I need and supporting requirement.

The fun part.

Create a local directory where you want the files mounted.  This process is similar to mount smb shares from another system.  In my example I will be mounting the directory /home on the remote server to a local path on my system:

sudo mkdir /media/video”

sudo sshfs /media/video

You can also change the owner of the new directory by typing chown ‘yourusername’ /mnt/remotehome1

Please note that the /media/video directory must exist and be owned by you, so keep in mind when you make (for example) /media/video you should assign permissions to your user so that you may access it.

To unmounts the directory, you can use the command fusermount –u.  Example fusermount –u /media/video.  If you get a message about the path being in use make sure that you have change directory out of this path and try again.

That’s about it.  Very clean and simple, and next time I hope to write about setting this up in such a way its auto mounted on startup (aka persistent), but for now this gets the job done.