How to Mount an SSH Location Using a GUI on Mac OS X 10.9

I really enjoy the command line because of how powerful and useful it is. However, a lot of tasks can be simplified with GUIs. Also, some people aren’t comfortable with the command line. This article will guide you through the process of mounting an SSH location using a GUI on Mac OS X 10.9. This was tested on Mac OS X 10.9.2.

First of all, why would you want to mount an SSH location? This will allow your applications to treat an SSH location as though it’s connected to your computer like a flash drive or external hard drive. Very useful!

Step 1: Install FUSE for OS X (OSXFUSE)

Go to the FUSE for OS X homepage and download the latest stable release of OSXFUSE (2.6.4 at the time of this writing).

When you get to the “Installation Type” stage of the installation process, be sure to check the “MacFUSE Compatibility Layer” checkbox. This is important. This will place files in the /usr/local/lib/ directory, which is needed in order for Macfusion (the app you’ll install in step 3) to work. This is what the screen with the checkbox looks like:

Step 2 (Optional): Install XQuartz

All of the SSH servers I need access to are set up to allow me to log in with my SSH key instead of a password. I actually prefer it this way. If you can’t or don’t want to set that up on one or more of the SSH servers you will be mounting, you will need to download and install XQuartz in order for your passwords to work. See this issue for more information.

Step 3: Install Macfusion

Go to the Macfusion homepage, download the latest stable release of Macfusion (2.0.4 at the time of this writing), unzip it, and move it to your “Applications” folder (or wherever you want it).

Step 4: Add Your SSH Servers to Macfusion

When you first open Macfusion, you will get a dialogue box saying that the macfusion agent process is not started. It will ask if you would like to start the agent. Check the “Start agent automatically on login” checkbox if you would like and then click the “Start” button.

Click the “+” dropdown menu in the bottom-left corner and choose “SSHFS”.

The “SSH” Tab


Fill in the information in a similar way to how I have it above. In my case, I left the “Password” field blank. See step 2 for the reason why.

The “SSH Advanced” Tab


Make any adjustments that you need to on this tab.

The “Macfusion” Tab


Mount Point: The default mount point will be “/Volumes/Some Server” (or whatever you named your server). If you want to change that, you can type “/Volumes/Whatever” in this field, but if you do that, be sure to not have a trailing slash or it won’t mount correctly.

Volume Name: If you want the icon for your SSH mount to have a different name than what you named the server (“Some Server” in my case), type something into this field.

Make any further adjustments that you need to on this tab and then click the “OK” button.

That’s it! Now you can click the “Mount” button and your SSH location will be mounted. Click the “Unmount” button when you’re done.