I try to sshfs mount a remote dir, but the mounted files are not writable. I have run out of ideas or ways to debug this. Is there anything I should check on the remote server?

I am on an Xubuntu 14.04. I mount remote dir of a 14.04 Ubuntu.

local $ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS
Release:    14.04
Codename:   trusty

I changed the /etc/fuse.conf

local $ sudo cat /etc/fuse.conf
# /etc/fuse.conf - Configuration file for Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE)

# Set the maximum number of FUSE mounts allowed to non-root users.
# The default is 1000.
#mount_max = 1000

# Allow non-root users to specify the allow_other or allow_root mount options.

And my user is in the fuse group

local $ sudo grep fuse /etc/group

And I mount the remote dir with (tried with/without combinations of sudo, default_permissions, allow_other):

local $sudo sshfs -o allow_other,default_permissions -o IdentityFile=/path/to/ssh_key  REMOTE_USERNAME@REMOTE_HOST:/remote/dir/path/  /mnt/LOCAL_DIR_NAME/

The REMOTE_USERNAME has write permissions to the dir/files (on the remote server).

I tried the above command without sudo, default_permissions, and in all cases I get:

local $ ls -al /mnt/LOCAL_DIR_NAME/a_file
-rw-rw-r-- 1 699 699 1513 Aug 12 16:08 /mnt/LOCAL_DIR_NAME/a_file
local $ test -w /mnt/LOCAL_DIR_NAME/a_file && echo "Writable" || echo "Not Writable"
Not Writable

Clarification 0

In response to user3188445's comment:

$ whoami
$ cd
$ mkdir test_mnt
$ sshfs -o allow_other,default_permissions -o IdentityFile=/path/to/ssh_key  REMOTE_USERNAME@REMOTE_HOST:/remote/dir/path/ test_mnt/

$ ls test_mnt/
I see the contents of the dir correctly

$ ls -al test_mnt/
total 216
drwxr-xr-x  1 699 699  4096 Aug 12 16:42 .
drwxr----- 58 LOCAL_USER LOCAL_USER  4096 Aug 17 15:46 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 699 699  2557 Jul 30 16:48 sample_file
drwxr-xr-x  1 699 699  4096 Aug 11 17:25 sample_dir

$ touch test_mnt/new_file 
touch: cannot touch ‘test_mnt/new_file’: Permission denied

# extra info: SSH to the remote host and check file permissions
# on remote host
$ ls -al /remote/dir/path/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 18 Jul 30 13:48 /remote/dir/path/ -> /srv/path/path/path/
$ cd /remote/dir/path/
$ ls -al
total 216
drwxr-xr-x 26 REMOTE_USERNAME  REMOTE_USERNAME   4096 Aug 12 13:42 .
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root  4096 Jul 30 14:37 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 REMOTE_USERNAME  REMOTE_USERNAME   2557 Jul 30 13:48 sample_file
drwxr-xr-x  2 REMOTE_USERNAME  REMOTE_USERNAME   4096 Aug 11 14:25 sample_dir

The question was answered in a linux mailing list; I post a translated answer here for completeness.


The solution is not to used both the options default_permissions and allow_other (which I didn't try in my original experiments).


The problem seems to be quite simple. When you give the option default_permissions in fusermount then fuse's permission control of the fuse mount is handled by the kernel and not by fuse. This means that the REMOTE_USER's uid/gid aren't mapped to the LOCAL_USER (sshfs.c IDMAP_NONE). It works the same way as a simple nfs fs without mapping.

So, it makes sense to prohibit the access, if the uid/gid numbers don't match.

If you have the option allow_other then this dir is writable only by the local user with uid 699, if it exists.

From fuse's man:


   By default FUSE doesn't check file access permissions, the
   filesystem is free to implement its access policy or leave it to
   the underlying file access mechanism (e.g. in case of network
   filesystems).  This option enables permission checking, restricting
   access based on file mode.  It is usually useful together with the
   'allow_other' mount option.


   This option overrides the security measure restricting file access
   to the user mounting the filesystem.  This option is by default only
   allowed to root, but this restriction can be removed with a
   (userspace) configuration option.
  • 1
    Just a clarification, because I found the explanation a bit unclear: It worked for me by calling sshfs WITH 'allow_other' but WITHOUT 'default_permissions' May 14 '20 at 12:21
  • For those having group write permission issues with a remote mount via sshfs I used fuse option -o default_permissions per above and I now am able to group write by being member of group with same id on both local and remote machine. Nice!
    – DKebler
    Oct 26 '20 at 19:28
  • 1
    Can you elaborate with some working examples?
    – jdmayfield
    Nov 14 '20 at 6:37

Don't run sshfs with sudo. If you do that, ssh will consider that the file system belongs to root. Run it as yourself, then you will be able to write to the files.


When running without sudo, you need to mount on your own directory, since you probably can't write to /mnt. So here is an example of how to use sshfs once you have added user_allow_other to /etc/fuse.conf:

$ cd                      # make sure you are in home directory
$ mkdir mnt               # create empty directory
$ sshfs server.com: mnt   # mount my home directory on server.com on ./mnt
$ ls mnt
[contents of home directory on server]
$ touch mnt/new_file      # no problem creating a new file
$ fusermount -u mnt       # unmount file system
$ rmdir mnt
  • As I mentioned in the issue, I tried with and without sudo and the result is the same (as far as file permissions and user/group id appearing in ls and the write permission problem) :(
    – vkats
    Aug 14 '15 at 5:41
  • Can you post the exact commands you are running without sudo and what the output is? Also, are permissions appropriate in /mnt? Without sudo, you would usually want to mount stuff in your home directory rather than a root-owned /mnt directory you probably don't have permissions on. Aug 14 '15 at 5:51
  • Thanks for the response. I mount to a dir in /mnt but I have the permissions to write on it. I added the set of commands for mounting with sshfs to a dir under my home.
    – vkats
    Aug 17 '15 at 13:02
  • I encounter the same problem. I try to mount a folder inside /home but the permission doesn't allow me to write data inside the mount point. I already changed the permission of the mount point but it does not work. You say that I must mount inside my own directory. Is this a must? askubuntu.com/q/811057/170070
    – Casper
    Aug 11 '16 at 18:28

One possible reason for this -- one that I hit -- was that I had no more free space on the disk I mounted.


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