SSHFS — filesystem client based on SSH

Examples (TL;DR)


To mount a filesystem:

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

If host is a numeric IPv6 address, it needs to be enclosed in square brackets.

To unmount it:

fusermount3 -u mountpoint   # Linux
umount mountpoint           # OS X, FreeBSD


SSHFS allows you to mount a remote filesystem using SSH (more precisely, the SFTP subsystem). Most SSH servers support and enable this SFTP access by default, so SSHFS is very simple to use - there's nothing to do on the server-side.

SSHFS uses FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) and should work on any operating system that provides a FUSE implementation. Currently, this includes Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X.

It is recommended to run SSHFS as regular user (not as root).  For this to work the mountpoint must be owned by the user.  If username is omitted SSHFS will use the local username. If the directory is omitted, SSHFS will mount the (remote) home directory.  If you need to enter a password sshfs will ask for it (actually it just runs ssh which ask for the password if needed).


-o opt,[opt...]

mount options, see below for details. A a variety of SSH options can be given here as well, see the manual pages for sftp(1) and ssh_config(5).

-h, --help

print help and exit.

-V, --version

print version information and exit.

-d, --debug

print debugging information.


equivalent to '-o port=PORT'


do not daemonize, stay in foreground.


Single threaded operation.


equivalent to '-o compression=yes'

-F ssh_configfile

specifies alternative ssh configuration file


equivalent to '-o ssh_protocol=1'

-o reconnect

automatically reconnect to server if connection is interrupted. Attempts to access files that were opened before the reconnection will give errors and need to be re-opened.

-o delay_connect

Don't immediately connect to server, wait until mountpoint is first accessed.

-o sshfs_sync

synchronous writes. This will slow things down, but may be useful in some situations.

-o no_readahead

Only read exactly the data that was requested, instead of speculatively reading more to anticipate the next read request.

-o sync_readdir

synchronous readdir. This will slow things down, but may be useful in some situations.

-o workaround=LIST

Enable the specified workaround. See the Caveats section below for some additional information. Possible values are:


Emulate overwriting an existing file by deleting and renaming.


Make rename fail with EXDEV instead of the default EPERM to allow moving files across remote filesystems.


Work around servers that don't support truncate by coping the whole file, truncating it locally, and sending it back.


Work around broken servers that don't support fstat() by using stat instead.


Work around OpenSSH "buffer fillup" bug.


Work around broken servers that produce an error when passing a non-zero mode to create, by always passing a mode of 0.

-o idmap=TYPE

How to map remote UID/GIDs to local values. Possible values are:


no translation of the ID space (default).


map the UID/GID of the remote user to UID/GID of the mounting user.


translate UIDs/GIDs based upon the contents of --uidfile and --gidfile.

-o uidfile=FILE

file containing username:uid mappings for -o idmap=file

-o gidfile=FILE

file containing groupname:gid mappings for -o idmap=file

-o nomap=TYPE

with idmap=file, how to handle missing mappings:


don't do any re-mapping


return an error (default)

-o ssh_command=CMD

execute CMD instead of 'ssh'

-o ssh_protocol=N

ssh protocol to use (default: 2)

-o sftp_server=SERV

path to sftp server or subsystem (default: sftp)

-o directport=PORT

directly connect to PORT bypassing ssh

-o slave

communicate over stdin and stdout bypassing network

-o disable_hardlink

With this option set, attempts to call link(2) will fail with error code ENOSYS.

-o transform_symlinks

transform absolute symlinks on remote side to relative symlinks. This means that if e.g. on the server side /foo/bar/com is a symlink to /foo/blub, SSHFS will transform the link target to ../blub on the client side.

-o follow_symlinks

follow symlinks on the server, i.e. present them as regular files on the client. If a symlink is dangling (i.e, the target does not exist) the behavior depends on the remote server - the entry may appear as a symlink on the client, or it may appear as a regular file that cannot be accessed.

-o no_check_root

don't check for existence of 'dir' on server

-o password_stdin

read password from stdin (only for pam_mount!)

-o dir_cache=BOOL

Enables (yes) or disables (no) the SSHFS directory cache.  The directory cache holds the names of directory entries. Enabling it allows readdir(3) system calls to be processed without network access.

-o dcache_max_size=N

sets the maximum size of the directory cache.

-o dcache_timeout=N

sets timeout for directory cache in seconds.

-o dcache_{stat,link,dir}_timeout=N

sets separate timeout for {attributes, symlinks, names} in  the directory cache.

-o dcache_clean_interval=N

sets the interval for automatic cleaning of the directory cache.

-o dcache_min_clean_interval=N

sets the interval for forced cleaning of the directory cache when full.

-o direct_io

This option disables the use of page cache (file content cache) in the kernel for this filesystem. This has several affects: 1. Each read() or write() system call will initiate one or more read or

System Message: ERROR/3 (../sshfs.rst:, line 210)

Unexpected indentation.

write operations, data will not be cached in the kernel.

System Message: WARNING/2 (../sshfs.rst:, line 211)

Block quote ends without a blank line; unexpected unindent.


The return value of the read() and write() system calls will correspond to the return values of the read and write operations. This is useful for example if the file size is not known in advance (before reading it). e.g. /proc filesystem

In addition, SSHFS accepts several options common to all FUSE file systems. These are described in the mount.fuse manpage (look for "general", "libfuse specific", and "high-level API" options).

Caveats / Workarounds


Some SSH servers do not support atomically overwriting the destination when renaming a file. In this case you will get an error when you attempt to rename a file and the destination already exists. A workaround is to first remove the destination file, and then do the rename. SSHFS can do this automatically if you call it with -o workaround=rename. However, in this case it is still possible that someone (or something) recreates the destination file after SSHFS has removed it, but before SSHFS had the time to rename the old file. In this case, the rename will still fail.

Permission denied when moving files across remote filesystems

Most SFTP servers return only a generic "failure" when failing to rename across filesystem boundaries (EXDEV).  sshfs normally converts this generic failure to a permission denied error (EPERM).  If the option -o workaround=renamexdev is given, generic failures will be considered EXDEV errors which will make programs like mv(1) attempt to actually move the file after the failed rename.

SSHFS hangs for no apparent reason

In some cases, attempts to access the SSHFS mountpoint may freeze if no filesystem activity has occured for some time. This is typically caused by the SSH connection being dropped because of inactivity without SSHFS being informed about that. As a workaround, you can try to mount with -o ServerAliveInterval=15. This will force the SSH connection to stay alive even if you have no activity.

SSHFS hangs after the connection was interrupted

By default, network operations in SSHFS run without timeouts, mirroring the default behavior of SSH itself. As a consequence, if the connection to the remote host is interrupted (e.g. because a network cable was removed), operations on files or directories under the mountpoint will block until the connection is either restored or closed altogether (e.g. manually). Applications that try to access such files or directories will generally appear to "freeze" when this happens.

If it is acceptable to discard data being read or written, a quick workaround is to kill the responsible sshfs process, which will make any blocking operations on the mounted filesystem error out and thereby "unfreeze" the relevant applications. Note that force unmounting with fusermount -zu, on the other hand, does not help in this case and will leave read/write operations in the blocking state.

For a more automatic solution, one can use the -o ServerAliveInterval=15 option mentioned above, which will drop the connection after not receiving a response for 3 * 15 = 45 seconds from the remote host. By also supplying -o reconnect, one can ensure that the connection is re-established as soon as possible afterwards. As before, this will naturally lead to loss of data that was in the process of being read or written at the time when the connection was interrupted.

Mounting from /Etc/Fstab

To mount an SSHFS filesystem from /etc/fstab, simply use sshfs` as the file system type. (For backwards compatibility, you may also use ``fuse.sshfs).

See Also

The mount.fuse(8) manpage.

Getting Help

If you need help, please ask on the <> mailing list (subscribe at

Please report any bugs on the GitHub issue tracker at


SSHFS is currently maintained by Nikolaus Rath <>, and was created by Miklos Szeredi <>.

This man page was originally written by Bartosz Fenski <> for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution (but it may be used by others).