Bulk file transfers made easy with SSHFS on Ubuntu and OpenBSD

James Deagle
3 min readNov 18, 2021
The SSHFS man page on Ubuntu.

A few days ago, I decided that I would like to transfer a large archive of files from one computer (running OpenBSD 7.0) to another (running Ubuntu 21.04). The main reason for this was simply that I needed to clear some space on the hard drive.

My first course of action was to do the file transfer via removable media, in this case a 32gb usb stick, which didn’t go so well. After issuing cp -R $HOME/archive /mnt/ from the command line, and then finding something else to do while the machine did it’s thing, I came back about 45 minutes later to find that the write process was going at an achingly slow pace. Eventually, the write process failed altogether, with only a fraction of the usb’s capacity having been used.

Digging in with some online searches, I saw that others have had similar complaints, and that historically, OpenBSD has been known for slow usb write speeds. (At the most, I had only ever written a handful of files at a time to usb, so this was news to me despite the fact I’ve been using OpenBSD off and on for almost a decade.) Apparently, the OpenBSD project has been working on this issue since version 6.7, and I’ve also read that there are…