Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mounting a aws instance into Nautilus in ubuntu

For a particular project I needed to transfer files from my local desktop system (running ubuntu ) to my aws instance running also running Ubuntu.  shell based connections work just fine for me, however, I need a GUI solution.  GUI solution was favoured since I wanted to have a quick drag and drop solution to move files rather easily across the two instances.

Although, Nautilus provides a "Connect to Server" option, and you can bookmark it as well, the trick/issue is that with aws instances you are dealing with private/public key  authentication, not password based authentication.

For some reason the "Connect to Server" option doesnt allow you to embed a public key and therefore that authentication method doesnt work through in that case.

After quite a bit of research and googling, I had to put this question up on  where, I got a prompt and sweet response.

The trick was to use the .ssh/config file and to create an alias there, specifying the identity file, and then onwards, there is no challenge to a ssh or sftp call, since ssh routes it through the config file automatically.

Here are the sample contents of the .ssh/config file that worked for me -

Host {alias}
HostName {hostname or IP address}
User {username to log in with}
IdentityFile {path to abcd.pem}
With this in place, its possible for me to have a bookmark and clicking on that just opens the target location (like a mount point).  Sweet little trick, and makes me like ubuntu a bit more...