Using Sublime Text on Remote Servers (Mac OSX)

If you need to work on a remote server and aren’t comfortable with tools like Vim or Emacs, this technique will let you use Sublime Text to work with remote files.

This script works by mounting directories of remote servers on our local machine and work with them as if they are local machines. This article will walk you through setting up the scripts and shortcuts on your machine so you can use this fast and convenient method too. Obviously, it is easy to delete and change things so be careful and always use version control.

These directions are for Mac OSX. You might be able to do it via the command line on Linux and Window but you will need to change a few things.


1. You need to have Sublime Text set up to be able to be opened from the command line. Mac/*nix Instructions Windows Instructions
This usually resembles a symlink in one of the directories linked from your $PATH to the Sublime shortcut so you can use $ subl to open it from within Terminal.

2. Make sure you have sshfs installed. If not, download and install *both* FUSE and SSHFS from here

3. You need to have your local public key ( contents of ~/.ssh/ in the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file on the the remote server so you can log in.


Name this file something like “” and put it somewhere in your home directory. It will need to have execute permissions by your user. Obviously change the username to your own.


if [ ! $1 ]
echo -e "Please pass in a directory path"

mkdir -p ~/remote-server$1

sshfs$1 ~/remote-server$1 -o reconnect

~/subl ~/remote-server$1


Put something like this in your aliases file.

alias remote-server-in-sublime=’~/’

To run it, you just need the full path to the folder as the argument.

$  remote-server-in-sublime /var/www/website

Extra Stuff

Remember to unmount it from your local machine at the end of the day/ when you are done.

$ df   // view all mounted volumes
$ umount  {name of “filesystem”}    // unmount the specified volume


$ umount

The default file for aliases is ~/.bash_profile but if you want to keep your bash_profile clean you can do this:

if [ -f ~/.bash_aliases ]; then
             . ~/.bash_aliases

alias aliases=’vim ~/.bash_aliases’

It’s normal that it creates a ‘~/remote-server/var/www/etc etc’ folder on your computer. Don’t worry.