HOWTO: Mount your ECE home directory from your Windows PC

This tutorial is aimed toward mounting your ECE home directory on your Windows PC at home or in the office. To do this, we will use a piece of software called "dokan" which creates a file system on top of an SSH connection (SSHFS). This is done through port 22 (SSH) and is closely related to SFTP, therefore the security of this software is equal to the security of the Secure Shell connection. Departmental machines come pre-installed with the open-ssh server running. Therefore we will go straight to the Windows setup.

1. Set up Dokan on your Windows PC

Download and install the following packages, rebooting when required:

2. Running dokan

  1. The installation will have placed dokan in your start menu / programs. Navigate to the shortcut and run dokansshfs (you will need the IP/FQDN of your linux PC sharing via ssh, and the user and password at this point)
  2. Enter the required details in the dialog box, select a drive letter, click OK, click OK again in the little dialog that appears, and then open up "My Computer" and you should see your drive letter. Click on this and it should reveal your linux share. Depending on your security settings you should have read / write access (at least to the users home directory)
  3. You can save your access settings to make things easier to recall next time, but you will always have to enter the password.
  4. You can also enter a path from root, so that the share opens up at a specific point on your file tree (e.g. /media/myfiles)
  5. You can add additional shares by running dokansshfs again.
  6. Dokan must be run to mount network drives upon each boot (it is not automatic).

3. Addendums

  • Dokan is under heavy development so expect the versions to change on a regular basis, if the direct links do not work go to their site and download the latest versions of dokan library and dokansshfs. there is a dokan library for 64bit machines too.
  • Also, as it is under development, you can't expect it to be flawless or work as you expect, but it worked for me first time, and allowed file exchange and audio / video real time viewing (as opposed to download then watch/listen.)

4. Licensing Information on Dokan

Some licensing info on dokan from the developer: Hiroki Asakawa

  • Dokan SSHFS is provided "AS IS", without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. Use at your own risk.
  • Dokan SSHFS is being licensed to you free of charge for your private persona use only. You may use Dokan SSHFS for non-commercial purposes only.
  • Redistribution of Dokan SSHFS is prohibited.

All credits to Hiroki for this great addition to Windows software that helps provide access to ssh shares, which are more likely found on linux PCs.

This HOWTO was adapted from Jose Catre-Vandis's post on Ubuntu Forums on January 1st, 2009 and can be found here.