Using S3 as a File System

Ignoring for the fact that there are very good reasons not to do this (latency, eventual consistency, etc), using S3 buckets as filesystems actually fills a niche that AWS doesn’t currently even try. Sure you could just setup an NFS instance on EC2, or even use the storage gateway service to go an off-service data store, but that is overkill for many use cases.

So here’s how I got it done.

First of all, there are some options on how to implement this. Here are the ones I tried out :

I ended up choosing s3fs-c. I used s3fs at first, but the lack of other-client compatibility was a killer. I’m still not sure why this is even a problem to be solved, given that the s3fs-c fork didn’t make major changes to get that feature. Or maybe there are major changes that I didn’t notice on my, admittedly cursory, review.

So I took an S3 bucket, and EC2 instance running ubuntu 12.04, and did the following.
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Using S3 as a File System