Replace SaMBa with WinSSHFS!

Replace SaMBa with WinSSHFS!

I connected my Windows desktop to our office file server using SSHFS rather than SaMBa. I am happy about that.


For some reason one of our SaMBa systems got twitchy sometime last month. This is a problem since I’ve inherited a script that;

  • I don’t yet understand
  • runs on Windows (10?) exclusively
  • reads data from \\foo\bar\project\user\project3\data\something paths

Since I know that SSHFS already works, I’m setting that up as a substitue.

Maybe this’ll be useful to someone else in a similar scenario.

Server (I did nothing)

SSHFS’s server works across an SSH connection. A “normal” SSH connection allows the execution of programs on that computer. Most computer programs read/write files to filesystem. SSHFS (and sFTP) build upon this by read/write files to the server’s file system as needed by the client program.

Client (I installed two programs)

The client component is some sort of file system implemented in user space FUSE. Here, the concept is used to provide the functionality of extra drive (M:) on the client computer, with contents matching the server.

There are several clients, I chose the one that I was familiar with. The client that I’m using calls itself win-sshfs and seems to be free/libre/gratis and working.

https://github.com/Foreveryone-cz/win-sshfs/releases/tag/1.5.12.8

It needs Dokan (0.7.?) installed (with a reboot) to work.

https://github.com/dokan-dev/dokany/wiki/Installation.

Setup (I ran the program)

I extracted the WinSSHFS program to an appropriate folder and lanched it. WinSSHFS produces this cute little manager screen.

Screen Shot of the Manager

Sometimes when I’ve run WinSSHFS there’s a harmless sounding error message about a drive being in use. If I run the program again - the error is gone.

Most of this should be self-explanatory; if you’ve used FTP or sFTP it should be obvious. Of note, the Directory field will be where the mapped drive roots itself in the file system.

  • if you leave it blank; the mapped drive roots in your user’s home directory
  • if you specify an absolute path; the mapped drive roots in that folder

… so (in my case) the files that I want are in /foo/bar/project/user/project3/data/something/ and I chose /foo/bar/ as my directory.

Python programs can (transparently) read paths, so I’m good to go!

Peter LaValle avatar
About Peter LaValle
Peter is currently a PhD student at the University of Nottingham. His day work involves applying functional programming to problems with artificial intelligence. Someday maybe he'll retire and be a graphics programmer or demoscene coder.
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