Mounting a remote VPS as a directory in Linux with SSHFS

This tutorial will show you how to use SSHFS to mount a remote VPS as storage for your HostDoc KVM.

Imagine that you have an OpenVZ or KVM VPS somewhere that has plenty of storage, lets say a 100GB OpenVZ, and you have a KVM that you’d like to run Plex on, you can use SSHFS to mount your VZ storage VPS as a directory (for example /mnt/100gbVZ/) and it will appear like a normal directory.

Getting Started

The first thing we need to do is install sshfs:

apt install -y sshfs

We need to make a directory that will be our local mount point for the remote file system, I will stick with the example, but you can change this to whatever you like:

mkdir /mnt/100gbVZ

Now, the next thing we need to do is actually connect to the remote server, and mount it as a local directory:

sshfs -o allow_other user@remotevps.com:/ /mnt/100gbVZ/

The above will mount the root directory of the remote VPS to /mnt/100gbVZ on our HostDoc KVM.

If you want to mount a different directory on the remote VPS, for example /var/plexmedia/ then we could do this:

sshfs -o allow_other user@remotevps.com:/var/plexmedia/ /mnt/100gbVZ/

To unmount that, just use the umount command:

umount /mnt/100gbVZ
Automating

If you don’t want to type the password each time, you can specifiy a password in the command - it’s not the best idea from a security point of view, but if you aren’t worried you can proceed:

sshfs -o allow_other,password_stdin user@remotevps:/ /var/100gbVZ/ <<< "p4ssw0rd"
Connecting to SSH on a different port

If your SSH server is running on a port other than 22, you can use the -p flag. For example, if SSH is running on port 12345:

sshfs -o allow_other user@remotevps.com:/var/plexmedia/ /mnt/100gbVZ/ -p 12345

Or you can combine automation with a different port:

sshfs -o allow_other,password_stdin user@remotevps:/ /var/100gbVZ/ -p 12345 <<< "p4ssw0rd"
Remember:

This won’t be the fastest way to access files on a remote file system, network latency can really affect the performance.
This will only work on a KVM, or OpenVZ/LXC with FUSE enabled.

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