MarsEdit, TextWrangler, and sshfs via MacFUSE

I know it’s nerdy. Just move along if you don’t get like it.

I’m trying out a couple things at once here, and not all of them are successful.

#1 MarsEdit MarsEdit, software for blogging (through WordPress in my case, but presumably via others) without relying on a webbrowser.I like the live preview-as-you-type thing. There’s a flickr plugin or something for it too, which I might try out with this post. Seems to support tags, categories, and post status stuff (draft, published, etc.) I guess it won’t replace the WordPress front-end (Dashboard, Settings, Plugins, etc.) but it’s a comfort thing to be able to post — the main function needed for a blogger — with a nice GUI. There’s an HTML helper thing too. At first I poo-poo’d this like I do most clicky HTML editing widgets, but this one lets you define your own macros. I dig that. Seems pretty good so far, but I’m not sure I’d pay $30 for it. Oh well, the free trial (for a month) out to help me decide whether to cough up for it.

#2 I am intrigued by handy, usable text editing (coding) software that will let me edit files on my websites remotely over a secure connection (scp, ssh, sftp, stuff like that). In the Windows world, at work, I generally get this done via mapped network drives and security is not really a concern. I use UltraEdit for that (I think it cost about $50). I recently heard about TextWrangler for Mac OS X thanks to a geeky BBS I frequent that does a lot of the same stuff (at least, a lot of what I need it to do) as freeware. Bonus! Get a copy from their website and try it out on your Mac yourself.

#3 Piggy-backing off of #2, the next cooler level is to be able to edit remote files with software that thinks they’re local when they’re really not. Or being able to hook up all kinds of different filesystems to your computer which it otherwise wouldn’t natively support. That’s what FUSE is all about, and MacFUSE allows you to use sshfs — meaning your favorite text editor, whether it can already remotely edit files or not, can be tricked into thinking the content you’re writing resides locally. Sadly, I’ve not yet managed to make this work. I am using the latest MacFUSE disk image and a static binary for Leopard and am getting the following errors:

sshfs: cannot find
warning: ssh nodelay workaround disabled
user@hostname's password:
fuse: unknown option `auto_cahe'
mylocalmac:Desktop cliff$ mount_fusefs: failed to mount /Users/cliff/Desktop/the_mountpoint@/dev/fuse0: Socket is not connected

Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? You’re supposed to be able to use the sshfs static binaries with recent versions of MacFUSE, but uh….yeah, it’s not working.

6 thoughts on “MarsEdit, TextWrangler, and sshfs via MacFUSE”

  1. headbang8


    If you want to show off like that, you can’t complain if bloggers write you out of the blue and ask tech questions. Expect one soon.


    1. cliff1976

      Well, I’ll do my best. The caveat that I am a software person and pretty clueless when it comes to hardware still applies though!

  2. Scott

    I must confess, I understood this entire entry! :-) I’ve gotten in the habit of using Transmit to browse remote directories, and using it to transparently open text files in whatever local editor I’m using that day. I can remember a few vi commands from my sysadmin days, so I can use it in a pinch.

    ExpanDrive seems to work pretty well for actually mounting remote directories. It has MacFUSE built in so you don’t have to mess with the innards yourself.

  3. cliff1976

    Wow, thanks Scott. That was just what I was looking for (and that’s the reason I posted this, HB8!).

    I found my typo in the command line for sshfs and now it’s working. I’ve got a couple of warnings or something that are apparently survivable though, since I was able to get my webhost that way – and for free! How cool is that!?

  4. Mom

    Yibbiddy dibbiddy blb blb, blb blb bleddl dddle dddle. Brdl?
    You may as well have posted that last one in ASCII. Sheesh. I understood the part about finding a typo, although I don’t see how one would… I cannot find a either. Is that a yodel?

  5. cliff1976

    Update: I got MacFUSE and Macfusion working nicely for remote editing of files as though they were local. That is pretty darn sweet. Big thanks to for their helpful post on this topic, including a hint to update the static binary for sshfs included in Macfusion to a more recent version.

    Three basic steps:

    1. Install MacFUSE (to set up your Mac to run file systems — lots to chose from — in userspace.
    2. Install Macfusion to run on top of that.
    3. Replace the static binary included with Macfusion to the updated one from the MacFUSE code project site (optional).

    Then you’re done — you can drag and drop remote files around as if they were available locally. Gotta try sshfs on Linux, too. Kind of excited about that.

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