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Add remote server location to Ubuntu Nautilus using SSH

gourab yousuf basir
I am a web developer. Focused on React.js and Django framework.
Updated on ・2 min read

In this post I described how to connect remote VPS server with local Ubuntu nautilus. I am using Ubuntu 20.04 and for the VPS or remote server I've been using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
In this post I am not going to write the process of creating cloud instance on OCI. For demonstrating the connection I've create a cloud instance with the following parameters-

Parameter names Properties
Instance name media-server
Image Ubuntu minimal 20.04
Public IP 152.67.xxx.xx

When creating the instance I downloaded the private ssh key
Oracle cloud instance private key

Here are the steps for connecting remote server to Ubuntu 20.04 Nautilus -

Step 1

To use ssh key with .key file extension we need to convert it to .pem file using this command

$ openssl rsa -in path/to/private.key -text > private.pem
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Step 2

Now create and edit config file in ~/.ssh folder

$ gedit ~/.ssh/config
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The config file should contain Host name, User name, port and the private key (.pem file) path. In my case the config file contains these lines -

Host media-server  
  HostName 152.67.xxx.xx
  User ubuntu
  Port 22
  IdentityFile /path/to/private.pem
  Compression yes
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Step 3

Now we need to change the access permission for the .pem file and .ssh folder using the following two command -

$ sudo chmod 600 /path/to/private.pem
$ sudo chmod 755 ~/.ssh
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Step 4

Now open Nautilus and go to Other loaction.
There is a Connect to server input field at the bottom.
Enter your host title followed by ssh://.
In my case I entered ssh://media-server in the input.

Ubuntu nautilus connect to server

Now press Connect. Within few seconds Nautilus will mount the server location.
Congrats 🎉. You have now full access to your remote server files and folders through your local Ubuntu nautilus.

Ubuntu nautilus remote server connection

You can also connect Ubuntu terminal with your remote server using this command -

$ ssh media-server
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Or in nautilus, by right clicking inside any remote folder you will have two options -
open in remote terminal
open in local terminal

By connecting local file manager (nautilus) with remote server we can now create, edit or delete any files or folders using the GUI of nautilus. This helps to easily navigate to different folders at remote server. Also opening terminal at any remote folder location never been so easier.

Thank you for reading my first post at dev.to.

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