I have a (Debian) file server with lots of storage space, connected to my home network. I have a (Debian) laptop that's sometimes connected to my home network,but travels around with me: sometimes it has a connection; sometimes it doesn't; sometimes the connection sucks.

What remote file protocol should I use so that files from the server are available when I have a connection, without having to manually mount and dismount and worry about dismounting before my connection dies? Ideally, I'd like to be able to use Rsync to keep small files like documents up to date, while occasionally putting/getting large media as needed and available.

The existence of Windows, Mac, or Android clients would be nice, but isn't vital.


You should try sshfs with -o reconnect option, or FreeNAS, in case you need something more serious and/or faster.

sshfs credit

  • ...and there is at least one (paid) Android sshfs client
    – sm4rk0
    Feb 20 '13 at 0:52

I don't think you will be able to find a "perfect" solution to your problem easily, but you may get a good part of the way through by using NFS and OpenVPN.

The idea would be to set NFS up with a very long retry time (ie days) for when the connection goes down, and use OpenVPN to keep the endpoints the same (and provide encryption and get round NAT and firewall hassles).

I have not played with what you are trying to do, but it would pay to look into AutoFS to help with automatically mounting the directory as well.

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