Auto-mount sshfs protected by password with tcl expect

Note: SFTP is SSH File Transefer Protocol, don’t confuse it with FTPS - FTP over SSL.

To mount remote SFTP directory, you can use sshfs.

For security reasons it does not support getting password from command line or environment variables. Password should be entered manually from terminal, automation is possible only with ssh keys.

In real world you have to deal with external services that provide SFTP protected by password and are not going to change that for your convenience.

We can use TCL Expect tool to override that limitation. There is also sshpass program that specifically automates using of ssh-like programs with passwords, but I couldn’t make it work with sshfs.

#!/usr/bin/expect -d

set env(LC_ALL) "C"
set env(PS1) "shell:"
set timeout 30

set user "user"
set password "password"
set host "host"
set port "22"
set local_dir "/srv/sftp-mount"
set remove_dir "/pub"

spawn /bin/sh

expect "shell:"

send -- "sshfs $user@$host:$remove_dir $local_dir -p $port -o reconnect\r"

expect "password:"

send -- "$password\r"

sleep 1

expect "shell:"

Note: script containing cleartext password should not have world-readable permissions.

First line(sha-bang) tells that this is expect script. -d option is great for debuging, it makes expect verbose about it’s actions.

Program output like password prompt may depend on current locale, so it’s better to explicitly set the default one with LC_ALL variable.

Shell prompt may be also different depending on local settings, so we explicitly override it with PS1 variable.

Note, that we use "\r", not "\n": we are sending the carriage return, not the new line symbol. Sometimes they are interchangeable, but not always.

To make sshfs work, you should first add hostkey to ~/.ssh/known_hosts:

ssh -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o -p $PORT $USER@$HOST echo added key

You may also add -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no to sshfs options, but that is not secure: it makes man-in-the-middle attacks possible.

And here is systemd unit to create this mount on system start:

Description=Mount sshfs with password


# Do not run services under root account unless necessary

ExecStop=/bin/fusermount -u /srv/sftp-mount


ConditionPathIsMountPoint prevents from trying to mount over already mounted directory. RemainAfterExit notifies systemd that service should be considered running after start script has stopped working.

UPDATE: After and Wants instructs systemd to start service after, that delays execution until network is sufficiently set up. indicates that network functionality is available, but does not mean it is fully configured already. Thanks @christeasdale for this update.

License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License Share: share on reddit share on hacker news share on facebook share on twitter share on linkedin share on slashdot

No comments

You today

Comments are closed