SHFS - SHell FileSystem

Mount directories over ssh

I have been trialling shfs as a replacement for NFS.  Whilst NFS can be lightning fast I\'m not a fan of the security options (or lack thereof).

SHFS - SHell FileSystem is a kernel module that allows you to mount remote resources over a normal ssh connection. The remote server does not require any special changes - just sshd. The documentation at the sourceforge site should be enough to get you up and running with shfs.

Whilst the file transfers times are much slower than NFS the added security in some circumstances is an adequate tradeoff (especially of WAN connections).

I did a couple of file transfers. Here are the stats:

The file used for testing was 641MB in size. In both tests I mounted a directory on a remote machine and then copied a 641 MB file over. Besides disk type - one was SCSI and the other SATA - each remote machine was of similar specification:

Test One:
Connection Speed - 100 MB
Connection Type- ADSL
Time to copy: 12 M 45 S

Test Two
Connection Speed - 1000 MB
Connection Type- LAN
Time to copy: 2 M 30 S

Another limitation of SHFS would be the overhead associated with the ssh protocol. Because of this overhead I would guess that this is only appropriate for a few clients. For example in a case where a central share was used to host users "home" directories then NFS would be a better option. However, for setting up remote Internet access for a subset of the same users then SHFS may be an option.

Regards, Bawdo2001

tags: Linux

Thu 14 Dec 2006, 13:50