January 11th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  3 Comments

FUSE has been on my “wouldn’t it be nice?” Mac wish-list for as long as I’ve known about it, which is “a bit.” It made it into one of my recent PracNet columns, but just as a Linux thing, where I have it running on my internal file server as a way to get at all the puddingbowl Web spaces more transparently.

Google has gone and made it a Mac thing, too.

It’s kind of late and I’ve got that rule about not doing anything that involves read/write access to production data with more than two fingers of Irish whiskey, but I’m so gonna be all over this tomorrow.



  1. gl. says:

    January 11th, 2007 at 11:47 pm (#)

    um. but what does it mean?

  2. mph says:

    January 12th, 2007 at 1:08 am (#)

    Well, that column explains it in 1,000 words. The super-executive summary is that FUSE allows you to create Filesystems in User Space out of all sorts of interesting things. So if you’ve got ssh access to a server, FUSE can be used to create a local mountpoint that looks and acts like a local filesystem/directory, but is actually on that remote server. All your traditional command line tools work on it, the same as if it was mounted locally; or if you prefer to work from the Finder, it’ll just look like another drive.

    It’s a way to get at stuff transparently, and in the case of ssh access securely.

    Typical Dreamhost scenario: We can have DAV shares, which is nice, but we can’t use normal permissions schemes on them, so it’s kind of a pain if you want to operate on the files there normally. With FUSE, you can set up a filesystem with ssh that lets you get at your Dreamhost stuff transparently, with no DAV and no ftp client.

    I’ve got FUSE mountpoints set up that let me get at my Web directories on dinero as if they were mounted on the server in my closet. Much more convenient than either dealing with an ftp client or putting up with DAV’s limitations. And it’s also, since the whole thing is mediated through ssh, more secure.

    I’m guessing it’s even more of a godsend for people locked away behind firewalls that only permit access to ssh.

    There are other FUSE filesystems, too. You can pull a similar trick with all your Gmail space, treating it like a network drive; or if you have ftp access to a server and just want it to be more transparent than with an ftp client, there’s a FUSE module that will handle that.

  3. gl. says:

    January 19th, 2007 at 2:43 pm (#)

    oh, wow. nice! it’s like what i’ve wanted with webdav all along.

    i read the article but felt like i was groping around in fog. i recognized words but they didn’t mean anything to me. thanks for spelling it out.

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