MacOS – How to use /etc/fstab and/or automount with sshfs on OSX


I'm attempting to automount a directory from a remote Ubuntu machine on my Mavericks Mac. SSHFS works perfectly when mounted manually, in many different ways. The standard sshfs mount works great:

sshfs user@desk:/home/user desk 

and I can even use mount:

sudo mount -t sshfs -o allow_other,IdentityFile=/Users/user/.ssh/nopass_id_dsa user@ desk

(I followed the OSXFuse automounting instructions to set up mount_sshfs)

I want to turn this into an automount. The easiest, recommended by OSXFuse way is to turn the above mount command into an /etc/fstab entry:

user@    /Network/desk   sshfs   allow_other,IdentityFile=/Users/user/.ssh/nopass_id_dsa 0 0 

but that doesn't work:

Network $ sudo mount desk
mount: desk: unknown special file or file system.

Similarly, if I do sudo automount -vc then I either get a long timeout or an unhelpful "Operation not permitted" error when I try to enter the mount point, depending on how I play with the formatting of fstab options. I get the same errors when I try to set up an automount map, as described here.

What's wrong with my fstab entry? Or, how else can I automount sshfs on OSX?

(I'm on 10.9.5 with sshfs 2.5.0 from homebrew)

Best Answer

  • Due to a bug in OSXFuse, this is necessary for the allow_other flag to work:

    sudo sysctl -w osxfuse.tunables.allow_other=1

    This may or may not fix the fstab issue, but it does work with a direct map. Here's how I set mine up.

    Add this line to /etc/auto_master:

    /-                              auto_ssh          -nobrowse,nosuid

    create /etc/auto_ssh:

    /Users/USER/MOUNT_POINT          -fstype=sshfs,allow_other,idmap=user,cache=no          USER@LINUXMACHINE:/home/USER

    (assuming you have passwordless keys set up.)

    Tell autofs about your changes:

    sudo automount -vc

    To make the osxfuse.tunables.allow_other change survive a reboot:

    Put the following in /Library/LaunchDaemons/sysctl.plist:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
    <plist version="1.0">
       <string>/Library/Filesystems/osxfusefs.fs/Support/load_osxfusefs; /usr/sbin/sysctl -w osxfuse.tunables.allow_other=1</string>

    Load the plist with:

    launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/sysctl.plist
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