SSHFS: Super Easy File Access over SSH
If your particular Linux distribution does not prepackage SSHFS, or if you simply want to build it from source, this also is pretty easy. First, confirm that you have installed whatever files or packages are required for kernel module development. You need these to build the FUSE kernel module. Then, download the latest source tarballs for both FUSE and SSHFS from SourceForge (see the on-line Resources). Place the downloaded tarball files in a temporary directory, then build and install using the following commands in that directory:
$ tar -xzf fuse-2.5.2.tar.gz $ cd fuse-2.5.2 $ ./configure --prefix=/usr $ make $ su -c "make install" $ cd .. $ tar -xzf sshfs-fuse-1.5.tar.gz $ cd sshfs-fuse-1.5 $ ./configure --prefix=/usr $ make $ su -c "make install"
After everything is installed, you are ready to perform any of the examples presented previously. After installation, the sshfs and fusermount commands are installed in /usr/bin.
SSHFS and FUSE allow any remote storage to be mounted and used just like any other filesystem. If you can log in with SSH, you have all the access you need.
As I said earlier, FUSE is a framework for creating user-space filesystems. SSHFS is only the tip of the iceberg. There are FUSE-based filesystems to encrypt your files (EncFS) transparently, browse Bluetooth devices (BTFS) or mount a CVS repository as a filesystem (CvsFS). Perhaps you were wondering what to do with all that free space in your Gmail account? Well, GmailFS allows you to mount your Gmail account and use it like a local filesystem. See the FUSE Web site for these and more great projects, or perhaps you would like to write your own. FUSE has language bindings for Perl, Python, TCL, C, C#, Ruby and others.
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Matthew E. Hoskins is a Senior UNIX System Administrator for The New Jersey Institute of Technology where he maintains many of the corporate administrative systems. He enjoys trying to get wildly different systems and software working together, usually with a thin layer of Perl (locally known as “MattGlue”). When not hacking systems, he often can be found hacking in the kitchen. Matt is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is eager to hear your feedback and can be reached at email@example.com.