Shfs

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What is SHFS?

Shfs is a simple and easy to use Linux kernel module which allows you to mount remote filesystems using a plain shell (ssh) connection. When using shfs, you can access all remote files just like the local ones, only the access is governed through the transport security of ssh.

Why SHFS?

Shfs supports some nice features:

  • file cache for access speedup
  • perl and shell code for the remote (server) side
  • could preserve uid/gid (root connection)
  • number of remote host platforms (Linux, Solaris, Cygwin, ...)
  • Linux kernel 2.4.10+ and 2.6
  • arbitrary command used for connection (instead of ssh)
  • persistent connection (reconnect after ssh dies)

If these features can't convince you, I probably can't either.
Yet, consider: the only thing you need on the server is a sshd running - and you can mount your from ANYWHERE in a secure way.

Howto SHFS

Installation

If you have a Standard Arch-kernel installed, you can simply

pacman -Sy shfs
providing you have configured pacman to use the community repository. If you run a self-baked Kernel, you can install shfs from ABS
cd /var/abs/community/system/shfs
makepkg
su -c '*.pkg.tar.gz'
.

Configuration

If you want to use shfsmount as mortal user, you will have to chmod +s /usr/bin/shfsmount and chmod + /usr/bin/shfsumount. However it's much more comfortable to put your mount options into /etc/fstab - this is what mine looks like:
remoteuser@Server:/data   /mnt/data   shfs    rw,noauto,uid=localuser,persistent   0       0
remoteuser@Server:/crap   /mnt/crap   shfs    rw,noauto,uid=localuser,persistent   0       0
remoteuser@Server:/backup /mnt/backup shfs    rw,noauto,uid=localuser,persistent   0       0
remoteuser@Server:/home   /mnt/home   shfs    rw,noauto,uid=localuser,persistent   0       0
Soon you will get tired typing passwords and once you do, you might consider Using_SSH_Keys.

Btw, if you are a paranoid bastard, like I am, and do not run ssh on port 22 on your server, you will need to complete your option list with port=<portnumber>.

External Links

http://shfs.sourceforge.net/ for a supposed to be complete reference.
http://www.openssh.com/ for a really complete reference ;)