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Revision as of 10:18, 6 July 2011 by S.pantaleev (talk | contribs) (sftpman also supports password-based authentication now.)
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You can use sftpman (an sshfs helper) to mount a remote system - accessible via SSH - to a local folder.

sftpman offers both a command-line tool (sftpman) and a GTK frontend (sftpman-gtk, see screenshot), each packaged separately.

With sftpman, you first setup (define) your remote filesystems and then you mount/unmount them easily (with one click/command).


In order to use sftpman or it's GTK frontend sftpman-gtk, you'll first need to have a working sshfs setup.

sshfs and fuse are installed as dependencies, so you may just need to add fuse to your module-list in Template:Filename to auto-load at boot.


The sfptman and sftpman-gtk packages are available in the AUR.

sftpman provides the base library and the command-line application sftpman.

sftpman-gtk provides the sftpman-gtk application, a GTK frontend to sftpman.

Defining filesystems

Each filesystem managed by sftpman needs to have a unique name/id which will be used when managing the system and also in its mount path. A system with an id of my-machine will be mounted locally to /mnt/sshfs/my-machine.

Authentication with the remote filesystem during mounting can be performed using passwords or SSH Keys.

To define a new remote filesystem with password-based authentication using the command-line tool, do:

# sftpman setup --id "my-machine" --host "HOSTNAME_OR_IP" --user "USERNAME" \
--mount_point "/REMOTE_PATH" --auth_method=password

Or the equivalent in case you want to use authentication with SSH Keys (recommended):

# sftpman setup --id "my-machine" --host "HOSTNAME_OR_IP" --user "USERNAME" \
--mount_point "/REMOTE_PATH" --auth_method=publickey --ssh_key "PATH_TO_PRIVATE_KEY"

The above setup is the minimum you need to specify to define a new filesystem that sftpman can mount. Depending on your environment, you may need to use some more options (like --port, which defaults to 22). To see a full list of available options do:

# sftpman help

You can also use the GTK frontend to define new filesystems more easily.


Once you've defined several filesystems, you can mount them by using their ids.

To mount:

# sftpman mount my-machine

which mounts the filesystem to /mnt/sshfs/my-machine

To unmount:

# sftpman unmount my-machine
Note: In order for the GUI application to be able to ask you for a password when mounting, you'll need to install some form of an ssh askpass tool. See: SSH_Keys#Using_ssh-agent_and_x11-ssh-askpass

Removing defined filesystems

To remove a defined filesystem from sftpman's list do:

# sftpman rm machine-id

Learning more

To see a list of more commands and options that sftpman supports, consult the help:

# sftpman help


sftpman can perform some basic checks on the environment, which may catch some potential problems:

# sftpman preflight_check

If mounting a filesystem fails, sftpman will give you the full sshfs command and its output. You can then use that command and run it manually (possibly after adding some more debug options to it, so you would see some more output).

Other Resources

sftpman - sftpman (source code, issue tracker) at github

sftpman-gtk - sftpman-gtk (source code, issue tracker) at github

sftpman-aur - AUR packages (source code, issue tracker) for sftpman and sftpman-gtk at github

See also