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Mounting Remote Filesystems With sshfs

This is a condensed and edited version of the Ubuntu Blog guide regarding how to mount a remote ssh filesystem using sshfs, based on my personal experience.

Before you can use sshfs, you’ll need an SSH server. This is useful for all kinds of things, but that’s not important here. To set up an SSH server in Ubuntu, all you need to do is sudo apt-get install openssh-server. Setting it up in Cygwin (like I did to access my Windows box, and to tunnel VNC through it) is a bit trickier, but there are decent tutorials out there. Once that’s taken care of, you can set up sshsf.

sudo apt-get install sshfs
sudo mkdir /media/dir-name
sudo chown `whoami` /media/dir-name
sudo adduser `whoami` fuse

Log out and log back in again so that you’re a proper part of the group.

Mount using sshfs [user@]host.ext:/remote-dir /media/dir-name; unmount using fusermount -u /media/dir-name.

It all worked perfectly for me, but if not, there’s apparently a solution.

If you get the following error:

fusermount: fuse device not found, try ‘modprobe fuse’ first

You will have to load the fuse module by doing:
$sudo modprobe fuse

You can add fuse to the modules that are loaded on startup by editing the file /etc/modules and adding a line with only the word “fuse” in it, at the end.

and then issue the sshfs command above again.

If you’re on Windows, don’t panick. Dokan SSHFS will perform the same task.

It should be noted that this is even easier within KDE applications, where you can simply use fish://your-server.com, but sshfs cooperates better with the rest of my system. Trying the same with Dolphin in KDE on Windows results in a KIOslave going crazy using all the CPU it can, however.

Aside from easy editing of files directly on my Windows box, this finally enabled me to stream videos from my Windows box, although right now only lower quality ones since it’s also connected through WLAN. With Samba things just weren’t working out, and the same applied to FTP (though it was better for file transfers than Samba, I have to say). Admittedly, this still actually uses FTP under the hood, but it just works better. Besides it will also be more secure to use remotely thanks to SSH.

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