FTPFs (Part II)


I was asking myself if there is a way to mount FTP folders the way you can mount remote folders using SSHFS (or god forbid NFS (No File System)). I first tried 'yum install ftpfs' with no luck. Then I thought to have a look at the fuse supported file systems and quickly found CurlFTPFs. It hasn't been updated in more than eighteen months but it's still compatible with Fedora 9. Just type yum install curlftpfs After downloading about 10 Megabytes of meta info from various repositories, YUM will tell you that there is 34Kb download available! it installs easily and you can mount a remote FTP folder just as easily. By remote I don't actually mean really remote. I mean a machine with in my LAN. You have to be crazy to use FTP over the internet.

curlftpfs radmedia /mnt/radmedia

Will mount a folder on my media server at /mnt/radmedia in my desktop - but it only mounts the annoymous FTP folder. telling it to use a specific username and a path doesn't work and the error message is 'couldn't resolve hostname' - which shouldn't be. With SCP and Rsync on the other hand you can specify the username and path easily. Example [email protected]:/home/raditha/ Then experimenting further, I found that you can in fact specify a username and a password in the command line. Not quite sure if that's a good idea though. If by some chance someone does hack into one of your machine (hardly likely to happen with linux, but why take a chance?) your second computer will also be compromised because your password is saved in the .bash_history file. This is different from the risk of using FTP. Your username and password will be compromised only if someone manages to sniff during the time that you are actuallyl using FTP. If the client is single threaded the window is smaller because the username and password will (usually be sent only once). In contrast if the information can be found in the .bash_history file, it can be read from there at any time.
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