FUSE-based file system backed by Amazon S3
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s3fs allows Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD to mount an S3 bucket via FUSE(Filesystem in Userspace).
s3fs makes you operate files and directories in S3 bucket like a local file system.
s3fs preserves the native object format for files, allowing use of other tools like AWS CLI.

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  • large subset of POSIX including reading/writing files, directories, symlinks, mode, uid/gid, and extended attributes
  • compatible with Amazon S3, and other S3-based object stores
  • allows random writes and appends
  • large files via multi-part upload
  • renames via server-side copy
  • optional server-side encryption
  • data integrity via MD5 hashes
  • in-memory metadata caching
  • local disk data caching
  • user-specified regions, including Amazon GovCloud
  • authenticate via v2 or v4 signatures


Many systems provide pre-built packages:

  • Amazon Linux via EPEL:

    sudo amazon-linux-extras install epel
    sudo yum install s3fs-fuse
  • Arch Linux:

    sudo pacman -S s3fs-fuse
  • Debian 9 and Ubuntu 16.04 or newer:

    sudo apt install s3fs
  • Fedora 27 or newer:

    sudo dnf install s3fs-fuse
  • Gentoo:

    sudo emerge net-fs/s3fs
  • RHEL and CentOS 7 or newer via EPEL:

    sudo yum install epel-release
    sudo yum install s3fs-fuse
  • SUSE 12 and openSUSE 42.1 or newer:

    sudo zypper install s3fs
  • macOS 10.12 and newer via Homebrew:

    brew install --cask macfuse
    brew install gromgit/fuse/s3fs-mac
  • FreeBSD:

    pkg install fusefs-s3fs
  • Windows:

    Windows has its own install, seening in this link

Otherwise consult the compilation instructions.


s3fs supports the standard AWS credentials file stored in ${HOME}/.aws/credentials. Alternatively, s3fs supports a custom passwd file. Finally s3fs recognizes the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, and AWS_SESSION_TOKEN environment variables.

The default location for the s3fs password file can be created:

  • using a .passwd-s3fs file in the users home directory (i.e. ${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs)
  • using the system-wide /etc/passwd-s3fs file

Enter your credentials in a file ${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs and set owner-only permissions:

chmod 600 ${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs

Run s3fs with an existing bucket mybucket and directory /path/to/mountpoint:

s3fs mybucket /path/to/mountpoint -o passwd_file=${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs

If you encounter any errors, enable debug output:

s3fs mybucket /path/to/mountpoint -o passwd_file=${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs -o dbglevel=info -f -o curldbg

You can also mount on boot by entering the following line to /etc/fstab:

mybucket /path/to/mountpoint fuse.s3fs _netdev,allow_other 0 0

If you use s3fs with a non-Amazon S3 implementation, specify the URL and path-style requests:

s3fs mybucket /path/to/mountpoint -o passwd_file=${HOME}/.passwd-s3fs -o url=https://url.to.s3/ -o use_path_request_style


mybucket /path/to/mountpoint fuse.s3fs _netdev,allow_other,use_path_request_style,url=https://url.to.s3/ 0 0

Note: You may also want to create the global credential file first

echo ACCESS_KEY_ID:SECRET_ACCESS_KEY > /etc/passwd-s3fs
chmod 600 /etc/passwd-s3fs

Note2: You may also need to make sure netfs service is start on boot


Generally S3 cannot offer the same performance or semantics as a local file system. More specifically:

  • random writes or appends to files require rewriting the entire object, optimized with multi-part upload copy
  • metadata operations such as listing directories have poor performance due to network latency
  • non-AWS providers may have eventual consistency so reads can temporarily yield stale data (AWS offers read-after-write consistency since Dec 2020)
  • no atomic renames of files or directories
  • no coordination between multiple clients mounting the same bucket
  • no hard links
  • inotify detects only local modifications, not external ones by other clients or tools


  • CSI for S3 - Kubernetes CSI driver
  • docker-s3fs-client - Docker image containing s3fs
  • goofys - similar to s3fs but has better performance and less POSIX compatibility
  • s3backer - mount an S3 bucket as a single file
  • S3Proxy - combine with s3fs to mount Backblaze B2, EMC Atmos, Microsoft Azure, and OpenStack Swift buckets
  • s3ql - similar to s3fs but uses its own object format
  • YAS3FS - similar to s3fs but uses SNS to allow multiple clients to mount a bucket

Frequently Asked Questions


Copyright (C) 2010 Randy Rizun rrizun@gmail.com

Licensed under the GNU GPL version 2