Friday 11 September 2009

Let's FUSE him with this juice!

Back in the olden days, like a year or two ago, Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) was a fancy feature that allows users to mount file systems. Using FUSE means that you can create a file system driven by an application rather than a driver (e.g. a kernel module). When I first tried it, it meant customizing your kernel to include this feature and building a bunch of utilities and drivers and generally it was awesome, but not something one does for a "quick fix".

Fast forward to a few months later (or aeons in OSS terms) and there's standard kernels and packages to operate FUSE. You can pull everything you need from your distro's stock repository.

In particular, there is sshfs which is hella tight. "sshfs" is, as you might guess, a file system over SSH, e.g. in FUSE. This means the security and features of SSH including SSH keys and all that good fun. Installing "sshfs" and FUSE is a simple three step process:

  1. yum install sshfs (or aptitude install sshfs for Debian / Ubuntu users)

  2. ?

  3. Profit!

Similarly, once you've installed "sshfs", using it is a simple three step process:

  1. sshfs /some/local/path

  2. ?

  3. Profit!

What could be simpler? If you're finding your virtual file system access in Gnome or KDE produces odd behaviour sometimes, just FUSE your remote file system instead. You get fully functional and secure access to remote file systems.

Oh, and just one last note, you use a FUSE command to disconnect the mount:

fusermount -u /some/local/path

Thanks, Toddz for mentioning FUSE the other day and getting me to revisit it.

- Arch

(title for this post nicked from an Invader Zim quote)

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