How to Install s3fs on an Ubuntu Server Software & Sites 20 APR 2012

s3fs is a handy little utility to have in your arsenal if you make use of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service. In a nutshell, s3fs is a FUSE-based file system backed by Amazon S3, which allows you to mount a bucket as a local file system for read/write operations. In other words, this allows you to store files and folders to your S3 account natively and transparently!

To install on Ubuntu takes a little effort, so lets go through the steps shall we?

First, install the prerequisites on your system to allow for the later compiling:

apt-get install build-essential
apt-get install libfuse-dev
apt-get install fuse-utils
apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev
apt-get install libxml2-dev
apt-get install mime-support 

Next, let’s build the latest version of FUSE just to be safe. Download the latest tar.gz from Sourceforge: In my case, this direct link worked for my wget call:


Extract the archive, compile and install:

tar xvzf fuse-2.8.7.tar.gz
cd fuse-2.8.7/
sudo make install

Now that we’re ready, grab the latest version of s3fs with wget and follow the same procedure we just did with FUSE:

tar xvzf s3fs-1.61.tar.gz
cd s3fs-1.61/
./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

Done! You should now be able to run s3fs on your system. To view the help notes:

s3fs -help


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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

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  • Tom

    I’m a newbie, so I am still missing something very important. Okay, so now I have the s3fs program installed, but now how do I use it?
    I can create a bucket in S3, but what permissions or policies should I give it?
    Do I have to create a user in AMI and somehow link this to the username I am running on my Linux instance?
    A full example would be very much appreciated.