What is the best-practices way to allow all local users to access sshfs mounts when the mount is established by an arbitrary non-root user? (Access will be according to file permissions, of course.)

Provided that the allow_other mount option is correctly specified, can any arbitrary user, along with that user's ssh key pair, be specified in /etc/fstab?

I contemplate auto-mounting the sshfs via fstab using something similar to this:

joe@fileserver:/shared/Docs /shared/Docs fuse.sshfs x-systemd.automount,_netdev,user,identityfile=/home/joe/.ssh/id_rsa,allow_other,default_permissions               0 0

I have the "user_allow_other" mount option uncommented in /etc/fuse.conf. Assume the sshfs mount is now working correctly for user "joe".

I want other users (e.g., mary, tim) to have access to /shared/Docs, as determined by standard file permissions.

What is the best practices way to accomplish this with sshfs? What are the caveats I need to be aware of when shifting from nfs to sshfs?

Under nfs the shares were mounted by the root account. With sshfs I cannot use the root account because the fileserver does not allow root to ssh connect.

The fileserver runs Arch Linux. Clients are either Arch or Ubuntu.

1 Answer 1


By pure coincidence I spent some time yesterday setting up an SSHFS mount for the first time. Obviously I'm not answering because of any particular expertise but just because I covered some of the same ground and I have a link that I found pretty useful: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SSHFS. Section 4 covers auto-mount and secure user access.

Beyond that, for what it's worth I think you have the right ideas about using standard access control mechanisms, avoiding root and so on. As far as caveats w/r/t NFS...it's unstable and insecure compared to SSHFS so don't worry too much about it. ;)

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