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Fugu SSH/SFTP Client

Fugu boasts an Apple Design award for Best Mac OS X Use of Open Source. As expected, I found myself wondering why the heck you need a gui interface for scp or sftp, but actually it turned out to be useful and .. I liked it.

Well, not entirely. There's plenty that annoyed me. When I first fired this up and tried moving a file, the silly thing wanted to fire up BBEDIT after it was done. I don't have BBEDIT, so it complains. Huh? Why would you assume I want to edit something after I copy it? Ahh.. that's the wacky Fugu interface. I had clicked "Edit" first, and that "sticks". Any file dragged or double-clicked after that triggers the editing. The only way to get out of that mode is to disconnect and come back in.

Well, not quite. In Preferences, you can choose your preferred editor. I chose "vi" and found that doesn't work - but gives no error message either. Apparently being unable to find "vi" doesn't bother Fugu one bit.

Fugu carries this persistence idea to its text selection. I had copied down three files I didn't want, so I highlighted them and clicked Delete. After the obligatory warning about the finality of my proposed actions, Fugu still had three files highlighted - just whatever was aplhabetically next. That's just weird.

By the way, Fugu has no support for SSH key authentication. That's not a show-stopper; just use ssh-agent in Terminal and do "open /applications/fugu.app".

Update: apparently they have added this.

Fugo does offer a tunneling interface. That seems to work well, but it got very confused when I wanted to kill the tunnel. It did in fact tear the tunnel down, but didn't know that it had done so - it thought the tunnel was still active and that it was unable to kill the process.

However, I did find this very useful for cleaning up junk. The graphical sftp let me sort by filename, date or size and I was able to spot a lot of old cruft I just hadn't noticed in my command line excursions.



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Thu Jul 13 08:40:12 2006: 2245   drag


I think _my_ ssh client is better then _yours_.
:P

Just kidding.

But what I like is sshfs. It's a FUSE-based file system so it's easy to set it up so that a regular user (me) can mount and access file systems without sudo.

To mount a file systems over sftp...
sshfs [email protected]:/home/username ~/mnt

Pretty simple! And it's fast. Running benchmarks on transfering files it turned out to be faster then NFS on networks slower then 100Mb/s. (cpu usage is much higher, but not unpleasently so) Also it supports seeking through files to you can edit and watch media files over it without having to download the entire thing.

So it's a network file system that is fast, encrypted, has various strong authentication scemes (used it with Kerberos with no problem, for instance). And it's fast enough for local use and secure enough for internet use.

Of course the problem you run into is similar to what happens with nfs. If you loose your connection things tend to go sour. Then you have to do a "lazy" umount to get rid of it.
fusermount -uz ~/mnt

And now I got zeroconfig/avahi stuff working I don't need a domain controller or to assign or remember static IPs anymore. I can just randomly plug into the network and refer to machines by hostname.local. Since everybody runs ssh it makes transfering files very very simple.

To bad there isn't support for FUSE in OSX yet. There is for FreeBSD, so I expect it would be possible.



Thu Jul 13 09:42:17 2006: 2246   TonyLawrence

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Ayup, I've been reading about fuse, but haven't had the time to do anything with it yet.



Thu Jul 13 10:33:15 2006: 2247   TonyLawrence

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Actually sshfs doesn't take much time - it's a quick install, but I haven't had much luck with it - I get a few seconds use and then it hangs dead. The inability to understand symlinks makes it very difficult also..



Thu Jul 13 12:15:23 2006: 2248   TonyLawrence

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Actually it CAN do symlinks.. but it depends on the remote system.. see (link)

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