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SSHFS is a FUSE-based filesystem client for mounting remote directories over a Secure Shell connection.


Install the sshfs package.



In order to be able to mount a directory the SSH user needs to be able to access it. Invoke sshfs to mount a remote directory:

$ sshfs [user@]host:[dir] mountpoint [options]

For example:

$ sshfs myuser@mycomputer:/remote/path /local/path -C -p 9876

Here -p 9876 specifies the port number and -C enables compression. For more options see the #Options section.

When not specified, the remote path defaults to the remote user home directory. Default user names and options can be predefined on a host-by-host basis in ~/.ssh/config to simplify the sshfs usage. For more information see OpenSSH#Client usage.

SSH will ask for the password, if needed. If you do not want to type in the password multiple times a day, see SSH keys.


To unmount the remote system:

$ fusermount3 -u mountpoint


$ fusermount3 -u /local/path


sshfs can automatically convert between local and remote user IDs. Use the idmap=user option to translate the UID of the connecting user to the remote user myuser (GID remains unchanged):

$ sshfs myuser@mycomputer:/remote/path /local/path -o idmap=user

If you need more control over UID and GID translation, look at the options idmap=file, uidfile and gidfile.

A complete list of options can be found in sshfs(1).


You may want to restrict a specific user to a specific directory on the remote system. This can be done by editing /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

Match User someuser 
       ChrootDirectory /chroot/%u
       ForceCommand internal-sftp
       AllowTcpForwarding no
       X11Forwarding no
Note: The chroot directory must be owned by root, otherwise you will not be able to connect.

See also SFTP chroot. For more information check the sshd_config(5) man page for Match, ChrootDirectory and ForceCommand.


Automounting can happen on boot, or on demand (when accessing the directory). For both, the setup happens in the fstab.

Warning: The private SSH key cannot be passphrase-protected for automounting to work (there is no interface to prompt the user for a passphrase when the mounting is triggered). Keeping the private key unencrypted on disk has security implications.
Note: Keep in mind that automounting is done through the root user, therefore you cannot use hosts configured in .ssh/config of your normal user.

To let the root user use an SSH key of a normal user, specify its full path in the IdentityFile option.

And most importantly, use each sshfs mount at least once manually while root on the client machine so the host's signature is added to the client's /root/.ssh/known_hosts file. This can also be done manually by appending one or more of the SSH server's public host keys (the /etc/ssh/ssh_host_* files) to /root/.ssh/known_hosts.

With systemd

The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.

Reason: What is the advantage of this compared to /etc/fstab? An obvious disadvantage is that it takes too many lines to configure a single mountpoint. It is not a good idea to always do things just because they are possible. (Discuss in Talk:SSHFS)

You will need to write two systemd units: a mount unit and an optional automount unit. Enabling the automount unit and keeping the mount unit itself disabled will not block startup and only mount once trying to access the file system. These files need to be named exactly like the mountpoint with "-" signs separating the folders within the path.

Mount unit, needs to be named exactly like the mountpoint (here, /mnt/data becomes mnt-data):

Description=SSHFS (remote.local)



The automount unit file also needs to be named exactly like the mountpoint:

Description=Automount /mnt/data



On demand

With systemd, on-demand mounting is possible using /etc/fstab entries.


user@host:/remote/path /local/path  fuse.sshfs x-systemd.automount,_netdev,users,idmap=user,IdentityFile=/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa,allow_other,reconnect 0 0

The important mount options here are x-systemd.automount,_netdev.

  • x-systemd.automount does the on-demand magic
  • _netdev tells it that it is a network device, not a block device (without it, "No such device" errors might happen)

See also fstab#Automount with systemd.

Note: After editing /etc/fstab, reload the systemd configuration and the required services, which can be found by running systemctl list-unit-files --type automount.

On boot

An example on how to use sshfs to mount a remote filesystem through /etc/fstab

user@host:/remote/path  /local/path  fuse.sshfs  _netdev  0  0

Take for example the fstab line

llib@  /media/FAH2  fuse.sshfs  _netdev  0  0

The above will work automatically if you are using an SSH key for the user that is not password-protected. See Using SSH Keys.

If you want to use sshfs with multiple users, add the following option:  /media/user   fuse.sshfs    allow_other,_netdev    0  0

In order to ensure the network is available before trying to mount, it is not only important to set the _netdev mount option, but also to add either --any or a specific --interface to the appropriate wait-online service for your network manager.

Secure user access

When automounting via fstab, the filesystem will generally be mounted by root. By default, this produces undesireable results if you wish access as an ordinary user and limit access to other users.

An example mountpoint configuration:

user@host:/remote/path /local/path  fuse.sshfs noauto,x-systemd.automount,_netdev,user,idmap=user,follow_symlinks,identityfile=/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa,allow_other,default_permissions,uid=USER_ID_N,gid=USER_GID_N 0 0

Summary of the relevant options:

  • allow_other - Allow other users than the mounter (i.e. root) to access the share.
  • default_permissions - Allow kernel to check permissions, i.e. use the actual permissions on the remote filesystem. This allows prohibiting access to everybody otherwise granted by allow_other.
  • uid, gid - set reported ownership of files to given values; uid is the numeric user ID of your user, gid is the numeric group ID of your user.



Read OpenSSH#Checklist first. Further issues to check are:

  1. Is your SSH login sending additional information from server's /etc/issue file e.g.? This might confuse SSHFS. You should temporarily deactivate server's /etc/issue file:
    $ mv /etc/issue /etc/issue.orig
  2. Keep in mind that most SSH related troubleshooting articles you will find on the web are not systemd related. Often /etc/fstab definitions wrongly begin with
    sshfs#user@host:/mnt/server/directory ... fuse ...
    instead of using the syntax
    user@host:/mnt/server/directory ... fuse.sshfs ... x-systemd, ...
  3. Check that the owner of server's source directory and content is owned by the server's user.
    $ chown -R user_s: /mnt/servers/directory
  4. The server's user ID can be different from the client's one. Obviously both user names have to be the same. You just have to care for the client's user IDs. SSHFS will translate the UID for you with the following mount options:
  5. Check that the client's target mount point (directory) is owned by the client user. This directory should have the same user ID as defined in SSHFS's mount options.
    $ chown -R user_c: /mnt/client/directory
  6. Check that the client's mount point (directory) is empty. By default you cannot mount SSHFS directories to non-empty directories.

Connection reset by peer

  • If you are trying to access the remote system with a hostname, try using its IP address, as it can be a domain name resolving issue. Make sure you edit /etc/hosts with the server details.
  • Make sure your user can log into the server (especially when using AllowUsers).
  • Make sure Subsystem sftp /usr/lib/ssh/sftp-server is enabled in /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the remote system.
  • If you are using a non-default key name and passing it as -i .ssh/my_key, this will not work. You have to use -o IdentityFile=/home/user/.ssh/my_key, with the full path to the key.
  • If your /root/.ssh/config/ is a symlink, you will be getting this error as well. See this serverfault topic
  • Adding the option sshfs_debug (as in sshfs -o sshfs_debug user@server ...) can help in resolving the issue.
  • If that does not reveal anything useful, you might also try adding the option debug.
  • If you are trying to sshfs into a router running DD-WRT or the like, there is a solution here. (Note that the -osftp_server=/opt/libexec/sftp-server option can be used to the sshfs command instead of patching dropbear).
  • If you see this only on boot, it may be that systemd is attempting to mount prior to a network connection being available. Enabling the appropriate wait-online service for your network manager fixes this.
  • Old Forum thread: sshfs: Connection reset by peer.
Note: When providing more than one option for sshfs, they must be comma separated. Like so: sshfs -o sshfs_debug,IdentityFile=/path/to/key user@server ...).

Remote host has disconnected

If you receive this message directly after attempting to use sshfs:

  • First make sure that the remote machine has sftp installed! It will not work, if not.
  • Then, check that the path of the Subsystem sftp in /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the remote machine is valid.

fstab mounting issues

To get verbose debugging output, add the following to the mount options:

Note: Here, \040 represents a space which fstab uses to separate fields.

To be able to run mount -av and see the debug output, remove the following:


Some directories are empty

sshfs by default does not support symlinks. If those directories happened to be symlinks, use:

$ sshfs user@host:/remote/path /local/path -o follow_symlinks

Files not refreshed

If you see old content on remote, consider using option dir_cache=no:

$ sshfs user@host:/remote/path /local/path -o dir_cache=no

Limited transfer on fast network

If you observe transfer than is lower than your network capabilities and high CPU usage on the party where files are copied from, disable compression (remove -C option or set -o compression=no).

See also