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I am looking for a linux based file server that I can use to store all my files and access remotely through Internet. I have come across a few different alternatives, most promising amahi, but most of these servers prefer the server to manage DHCP, which I can not do as first of all, restarting all the devices on my network would be a seriously tedious task and the router currently managing the DHCP will have more up-time than my server. I also have a windows home server, which is connected to the Internet through my router, but I can't mount it when I'm not at the local network, I can only manage the files through a browser, which is really unpractical.

So basically what I want is: A home file server that can be mounted as a disk, or viewed in finder in any other way, in OSX (and windows, but I'll mostly be using OSX) and I must be able to do this both at the local network and from any other location, without having to manage the DHCP from the server. I have thought of setting up openVPN (or another vpn connection if available) to access the local network remotely as if my machines was physically there, but I have no idea of how to setup the router to make this work, especially since I already have a server connected to the router.

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If all you need is simple access to your files, I think that setting up a dedicated file server might be overkill. I often need to access files from home when I'm at work or vice versa and I just mount the remote volume locally using sshfs.

I haven't tried this on OSX but according to their page, osxfuse should be able to do it. What you need to do is forward the appropriate port (22 for example) from your router to your server then install osxfuse and do something like

sshfs server:/path/to/folder /local/path/

You can then access you files at/local/path just like any other mounted volume. Apparently there is also a way of doing this on Windows but I have never tried it.

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  • This seems like a good solution, however is it possible to connect to the sshfs "server" without installing anything? And I also came across NFS, which seems to do something similar, will it be a suited alternative as it seems to be implemented into OSX?
    – Ridago
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 20:40
  • @Ridago as long as the server has an ssh server runnin (it should) then you don't need to install anything on the server. NFS is great but you need root access to the server.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 21:08

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