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I’ve recently been toying with my Raspberry Pi mirror including moving it out on to Amazon’s S3. I’ve written an article on how to back up to S3, but that isn’t enough when it comes to serving data from S3.

I needed the ability to RSYNC data from the official Raspberry Pi servers on to mine and then in to S3 and for that I used s3fs and FUSE.


You can actually do this successfully without requiring FUSE, just by installing the s3fs binary on to your system, but this only allows the user who mounted to access the mounted bucket and also is not possible via /etc/fstab.

FUSE allows you to implement a filesystem within a userspace program, thus allowing us to give other users access and auto-mount using /etc/fstab.



Installing FUSE is simple

sudo apt-get install fuse-utils


We’ll need to get build-essential, pkg-config, libfuse-dev, libcurl4-openssl-dev and libxml2-dev to be able to compile s3fs

sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config libfuse-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libxml2-dev

Debian 5 & Ubuntu 10.04

If installing either Debian 5 or Ubuntu 10.04, you’ll need to install a newer version of fuse than is packaged, I found this info on the s3fs issue tracker.

First we need to remove the install fuse-utils and libfuse-dev that we install above.

sudo apt-get purge fuse-utils libfuse-dev

You’ll need to export a variable with your arch, i.e

export PLATFORM=amd64
wget https://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/f/fuse/libfuse2_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb
wget https://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/f/fuse/libfuse-dev_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb
wget https://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/f/fuse/fuse-utils_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb
sudo dpkg -i libfuse2_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb libfuse-dev_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb fuse-utils_2.8.4-1.1_${PLATFORM}.deb

Fix missing dependencies

sudo apt-get -f install

Now run the command below and confirm the output

pkg-config --modversion fuse

s3fs has to be done manually, first off go download the latest revision archive from Google code.

Once download, gunzip and untar it.

tar xvzf s3fs-x.xx.tar.gz

Change directory in to your newly extracted archive, and configure.

./configure --exec-prefix=/usr/ --prefix=/ --includedir=/usr/include/ --mandir=/usr/share/man/

This configure command will install the s3fs binary in to /usr/bin and man pages in to /usr/share/man/ which is Debian and Ubuntu correct locations.

Then you’ll need to compile and install.

sudo make install

You’ll noticed I only run make install as sudo/root, because the other commands do not require it and you should never compile as root.

Configure s3fs

The only configuration you need to do for s3fs is store your S3 credential which you can get the Amazon website.

Create a file called /etc/passwd-s3fs - MAKE SURE YOU DON’T BREAK /etc/passwd

In it you need to put your access key ID and secret access key, separated with a colon.


And for security reasons, change the file permissions

sudo chmod 0600 /etc/passwd-s3fs



Once all the above is done you can mount a bucket using the s3fs binary, I’m going to mount directly to /mnt

sudo s3fs your-bucket-name /mnt

This will mount it and make it usable for your user.


Mounting via fstab requires the above FUSE step to be completed.

Your /etc/fstab entry should look like this

s3fs#your-bucket-name /mnt fuse allow_other,_netdev,nosuid,nodev,url=https://s3.amazonaws.com 0 0

A brief description of the mount arguments;

  • allow_other - allow all users to access the mount point,
  • _netdev - The filesystem resides on a device that requires network access,
  • nosuid - Do not allow set-user-identifier or set-group-identifier bits to take effect,
  • nodev - Do not interpret character or block special devices on the file system and
  • url - Use HTTPS instead of HTTP when configure as above


Anarchist. Pessimist. Bipolar. Hacker. Hyperpolyglot. Musician. Ex-(semi-)pro gamer. They/Them.

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