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  • REMOTE Debian VPS in an untrusted datacenter (i.e. a third party hosting provider) serving files to the Office through internet.

  • LOCAL Office with 4 Ubuntu, Mint and Debian machines, with simultaneous access to the remote files in the server.

  • An absolute requirement of secure transfer.
  • A requirement to have network mounted filesystems (doesn't serve SFTP or web access to files).
  • We have a decent 4 Mbps internet connection.
  • Users don't use the console, and don't have pure ssh access, only through GUI (Nautilus or similar).


A SSHFS and FUSE on the Office machines, accessing the files securely to the VPS.


Everytime that someone copy/moves a folder inside the same VPS server using Nautilus (or similar) on the remote filesystem with the sshfs, the folder is downloaded and uploaded. If the folder contains 10Gb of data, the network suffers 20Gb!!! We have to move sometimes folders on the same VPS, and have huge amount of data.

Is there any solution to the above problem with the given constraints? If not, do we have to select other network share system that fulfills these criteria? Which one?

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Can't you use samba with VPN connection? – fboaventura Feb 20 '13 at 23:19

The best scenario would be to have a local server. But I assume you have reasons against that which aren't mentioned here.

The next best would be a VPN. Setup OpenVPN on the remote server and either a whole site VPN on your office network (even most low end business routers support VPNs these days) or a VPN client on each PC.

Then use NFS or CIFS (Samba) to share the files. These are both stable and heavily used network filesystems, and they don't rely on FUSE so should be more stable. Both are intelligent enough to move files without the two way trip over the internet.

The VPN ensures the traffic is safe from the untrusted datacenter and internet. Both NFS and CIFS have security but are generally not intended to be run on a completely untrusted network.

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