Thursday, January 1, 2015


When I started doing Linux SSH command line tutorials, I found out about SSHFS which allows developers to remotely work on a website hosting server. Nowadays, I tell people that I can’t live without it. This tutorial will list the steps to set up an SSHFS environment for Windows 8.
Windows SSHFS Manager – Mount your website drive!

Quick List of SSH tools for Windows 8

  • Dokan Library
  • Win-SSHFS
  • Sublime Text (For awesome editing)
  • An SSH-enabled server and user

Instructions for those in a hurry

  • Set up your SSH keys if you haven’t done so
  • Install Dokan SSHFS under compatibility mode for Windows 7
  • Install Win-SSHFS. Set to execute under compatability mode for Windows 7
  • Open Win-SSHFS and add a new drive. Enter your server’s connection details, either using password or key-based authentication
As I’ve mentioned, these instructions are for setting up SSHFS on Windows 8. You may install normally and skip the compatibility instructions if you are using Windows 7 and older.
First, you will need to install Dokan Library in compatibility mode: Windows 7. Right click on the installer and under compatibility you can set this.
After installing Dokan, you can proceed with installing win-sshfs, a convenient Dokan-bound GUI tool for mounting SSHFS drives. You will have to follow the same instructions above and set the win-sshfs executable to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode.
Launch and enter the details for your SSH server. I’d suggest that you have a play around with the different authentication methods available for SSHFS mounting.
Remember to save the new sshfs image first before mounting it. I personally use no-password ssh-keys for authentication. It’s a lot easier than entering the password every time I connect. If you do decide to use SSH password authentication, that’s fine. Win-SSHFS will save your password for next time.

Extra Tip for Those Who Use Sublime Text

If you have sublime text, you can open whichever folder you want by dragging it to your workspace! Don’t forget to unmount the drive from the SSHFS Manager once you are done.

What is SSHFS?

Secure Shell (SSH) is a secure protocol for securely getting access to a remote server. SSHFS is a tool that uses SSH to enable mounting of a remote filesystem on a local machine. SSHFS allows the use of password or key-based authentications and server connections are encrypted.  Both the server and client (your computer) agree on a temporary session key to use for decrypting and encrypting data while they’re being transferred. Algorithms such as AES or RC4 are used for SSH decryption or encryption.


The Dokan Library allows you to create file systems without writing device driver. It is similar to FUSE(Linux user mode file system) but it has been designed specifically for Windows.


SSH(SFTP) filesystem made using Dokan and SSH.NET library. It allows you to mount remote computers via SFTP protocol like windows network drives.

The author would like to thank the following authors/developers/articles:

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