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How To Mount Inexpensive Amazon S3 Storage As a Local Drive, Using Transmit [Mac]

Amazon S3 as local storage.jpeg

Now might not be the time to tout the benefits of Amazon S3, given the recent Amazon cloud storage outage. Still, it is hard to beat Amazon S3 prices. Amazon offers storage at 14 cents per gigabyte for the first terrabyte of storage, and additional charges for transfer in and out. You can get easy access to that storage using a modern FTP client, such as Transmit on the Mac, and even make your S3 storage space show up as a drive on your computer. Here’s how.

Start by creating a bucket in your S3 account console by clicking the “create bucket” button in the left column, then creating a bucket name and selecting a region. Then open Transmit, and, in the menu bar, choose File > Remote Browser. Then click the S3 tab.

Transmit S3 setup.jpeg

Get your Access Key ID and Secret from the “Security Credentials” section of your Amazon S3 account page, and input them in the first two boxes. In the “Initial Path” box, input the name of the bucket that you created, above. Once everything is input, click on the blue “+” symbol to add your S3 space as a favorite, and click “Mount as Disk” to get the space to show up as a drive in Finder.

Your Amazon S3 storage will now show up as a mounted drive in Finder.

There’s one problem though – when you reboot, you lose your mount. We can fix that with a simple Automator action, like this:

  • Open Automator and choose “Application” as your templateAutomator.png
  • Type “Mount” in the search box, and double click the “Mount” command in the list (the one with the little Transmit truck icon next to it)Mount Amazon S3 with Transmit and Automator.png
  • In the dropbdown menu for “Connect to,” select “Favorites.Automount Amazon.jpg
  • Select your Amazon S3 server that you previously saved as a favorite.
  • Save your Automator application (File > Save), and remember where you save it
  • Open your Mac’s System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items
  • Add the Automator application that you just made to this list, so it will run when your computer starts up.

That’s it! When you reboot, your Amazon S3 storage space should now automatically mount. My next step – trying to get specified files and folders to sync automatically to my Amazon space, using the mounted drive. I figure that I can just use a Hazel script for this, but we’ll see. Does anyone else use Amazon S3 for file storage? What’s your setup?


This support thread was helpful in figuring out the Automator setup: