I am attempting to set up autofs to spawn an sshfs.

The autofs is on a Debian 10.9 system.

The remote sshd I want it to connect to is on a mac running Big Sur.

When I try to ls the intended (auto)mountpoint, I just get: No such file or directory

I can ssh in fine, without a password, both as myself and as root. I want the sshfs to use root.

I changed /etc/ssh/sshd_config to allow root login with a password. Other than that, the mac's sshd is untweaked.

Also, this works fine on the Debian system:

$ sshfs root@daniels-mac-mini:/System/Volumes/Data /mnt
$ ls /mnt

...making it even more weird that sshfs isn't working but only when attempted under autofs.

If I look in the mac's logs, I see a lot of:

comp.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.openssh.sshd...): Service exited with abnormal code: 255

And if I use launchctl to shut down the sshd on the mac, and then run:

/usr/sbin/sshd -d

...in a terminal, I get a lot of output, including (retyped, I don't have cut and paste happy yet) :

attempt 6 failures 5 [preauth]
Failed password for root from port 33336 ssh2
maximum authentication attempts exceeded for root form port 33336 ssh2 [preauth]
Disconnecting authenticating user root port 33336: Too many authentication failures [preauth]

...which is strange, because it should be using public key authentication, not a password. I know passwordless is working fine in other circumstances between these two hosts.

I've tried a number of things in /etc/auto.mymount on the Debian system, from complex but well-explored-in-Linux-land to as simple as:

daniels-mac-mini -fstype=fuse,allow_other :sshfs\#root@daniels-mac-mini\:/System/Volumes/Data

Any suggestions folks? I'm about out of ideas.


1 Answer 1


It turned out I had forgotten to ssh to root@localhost on the Debian system prior to ssh-copy-id'ing to root@daniels-mac-mini. ssh-copy-id doesn't like it when you just sudo bash instead of actually ssh'ing.

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