/ Tips

Mount remote folder onto your local disk on the Macbook

I like working on my Mac but like to keep my development repositories on a headless terminal on the cloud (like a Digital Ocean droplet or a AWS EC2 instance).

Usually, I simply ssh into the server and then edit code using Vim. However, there is something really cool about Sublime Text: The text editor you'll fall in love with! There are apparently plugins to remotely edit files but I want to really feel like working on my local disk.

I was able to get this working after a bit of Google research. Here is what worked for me.

On my Mac (local machine):

  • Install SHFS on the Mac OSX. I downloaded and installed FUSE and SSHFS from the osxfuse site

  • Create the mount point for loading the remote directory and set the permissions of the local directory

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/ssh
sudo chown -R $USER:staff /mnt/ssh/
  • Create the directory structure that you want to mount (I find this consistency useful). I wanted to load my project called happy :-)
mkdir -p /mnt/ssh/var/www/happy
  • Mount the remote directory to the local file system using sshfs
sshfs [email protected]:/var/www/happy /mnt/ssh/var/www/happy/

I found it important to use the absolute paths from the remote filesystem. Also, it should be possible to use ssh keys but I didn't try that out yet!

  • If everything worked fine, you should able to do see the remote directory accessible locally. Try ls -l /mnt/ssh/var/www/happy/

  • That's it! You should be able to pull the folder into Sublime Text and enjoy working off the server code!

  • When you are done, unmount the directory using ...

umount /mnt/ssh
  • Note, sometimes I had to force a umount using ..
umount -f /mnt/ssh