Jun 24, 2011

SSH: Mount remote file system on your Mac over SSH to access in Finder

    Maybe you're already know about how to connect to remote servers through Local network on your Mac, but how about SSH server connections?
    Lets say you may open a terminal window and run "ssh username@server.com" it will ask you for a password and "Ta-da" we're in. But what about usability. If you're console geek, this is enough for you. As for the others let's talk about adding some GUI to it. Some time ago Google engineers released a package for Mac's to mount remote filesystems, using lots of methods, including SSH.
    This software is called MacFuse. It connects remote filesystems to your Mac's finder. You will see it in your computer as a regular Mac's network drive.
    MacFuse has developed to the point, where it's extremely easy to "make it work". This is the way:

    1. Install MacFuse and SSHFS. at the time of writing this article version is MacFUSE-2.0.3,2.dmg and you can download it here.  SSHFS is currently deprecated and you can download it there too. For accessing deprecated software you must press in a scroll down menu "Search" is set to "Current downloads". Select All downloads there and press search. Latest version I've found is sshfs-1.0.0.dmg. Download and install them, as usual.
    2. Configure SSH server connection. Run sshfs.app and enter your server params:
    3. Open Finder folder. Your My Computer will have another folder of your ssh server in case no errors occur:

It will work like a normal regular folder. You will be able to Drag'n'Drop files there or access it through terminal or any other commander like application in your Mac.

Issues:

    1. Major issue is that you can't auto-mount ssh filesystem at login, like Windows drives. Also you can say to an app to run at Startup but yo'll have to enter password everytime.
    2. It looses connection upon sleep/wake sequence. you have to enter password again.

    Thats all, as for me.

Conclusion:

    Macfuse+sshfs is nice software for using time to time. It's not good to use on everyday basis because of disability to store password and reconnect at logins. But you can easily use it in case you need to connect to SSH servers time to time and use them with some sort of gui and not just console.

If you used it/have better way to do it please drop me a comment...
Thanks for reading.

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