Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Automatic mounting of remote storage via SSHFS on Amazon EC2 instances

In this blog I demonstrate how you can create an Amazon EC2 instance image that will automount a folder on a remote server via SSHFS.
The purpose here is to fire up a EC2 compute server, run a program and save the output from that program on our local compute cluster at the university.

Basically, you just need to a line to /etc/fstab and save the instance as an image (that's what I did).

What you need:

  • An Amazon EC2 instance with sshfs installed.
  • A user with SSH keys properly setup to the remote system (the SSH keys cannot require a passphrase).
Your remote server has a folder that is named remote_folder and your instance has a folder named local_folder. The default username on Amazon is "Ubuntu" for Ubuntu instances, so I'm using this as an example.

sshfs#ubuntu@remoteserver:/home/ubuntu/remote_folder/ /home/ubuntu/local_folder/  fuse    user,delay_connect,_netdev,reconnect,uid=1000,gid=1000,IdentityFile=/home/ubuntu/.ssh/id_rsa,idmap=user,allow_other,workaround=rename  0   0

Everything is one long line that goes into /etc/fstab. The IdentityFile points to your SSH key. You need the "_netdev" keywords to mount the SSHFS folder after network becomes available. The "reconnect" keyword does what it reads, so throw that in as well.
I read a few posts from other people who had difficulties mounting SSHFS properly without the "delay_connect" and "workaround=rename" keywords, so I added those for good measure.

Note that you need the trailing / after the folder names! I won't work without (and I'm talking from bitter experience here).

Furthermore, you want to add the following line to /etc/ssh/ssh_config

ServerAliveInterval 5

This makes SSH send a keep alive signal every 5 seconds so you don't get disconnected due to being idle.

Apart from that I think the above should be self-explanatory (for someone looking for this information).


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