Is the SSHFS Project Still Active?

With its last release in May 2022 and only one developer left, SSHFS's future is uncertain. Is the project fading away?

SSHFS (Secure SHell FileSystem) is a tool that has been around for many years and that almost every Linux user has used at some point. It is a filesystem client that allows you to mount and interact with directories and files on a remote server using the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.

In other words, SSHFS lets you securely access remote file systems over an encrypted network connection as if they were local files on your own computer.

It is based on the Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) interface, allowing non-privileged users to create file systems without altering kernel code. This makes SSHFS very flexible and easy to use.

You can work with remote files using common file operation tools and commands on your local machine, like moving, copying, editing, etc., without manually transferring files back and forth.

Unfortunately, SSHFS has not been going well in the last two years. Once a thriving project with robust community involvement, it is now teetering on the brink of stagnation, with its last software release dating back to May 2022.

Furthermore, on the project’s GitHub page, we come across the following:

“However, at present SSHFS does not have any active, regular contributors, and there are a number of known issues. The current maintainer continues to apply pull requests and makes regular releases, but unfortunately has no capacity to do any development beyond addressing high-impact issues.”

In addition, the project’s bug tracker has a growing list of unresolved issues. Users are advised that their concerns will likely go unaddressed unless they contribute a pull request or report a critical issue.

This has resulted in a project that, while still functional, may not be keeping pace with its user base’s evolving needs and expectations.

What does this mean in practice? SSHFS has received virtually no development in the last two years, and if the project fails to attract volunteers, its future is in question. In other words, its existence now hinges on the broader community’s willingness to step in and support it.

In light of everything said so far, it is probably a good idea to consider using other solutions that offer similar functionalities but with more robust support and active development.

One notable alternative is Rclone, a versatile file management tool that supports many protocols, including SSH, FTP, S3, and more. It provides a viable replacement for SSHFS and brings additional features and active support, making it an attractive option for those seeking stability and continuity in their remote file management tools.

However, we hope that SSHFS will be able to get out of the current unpleasant situation and will get its due attention, as it is a tool that many Linux users rely on.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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