Connecting to Cloud Storage folders on Mac OS X using WebDAV

I love my Mac. It strikes just the right balance of hipsterdom and nerdiness. I can microblog some artisan gluten-free hashtags from the local vinyl café and seamlessly switch to jailbreaking hot pockets of Unix bytes to the maxodrome.

So if you too are part of the Apple brotherhood, here's a quick tutorial on how to connect to our Cloud Storage folders on Mac OS X, using WebDAV.

Creating a folder

On the Control Panel, in the Add menu, select Cloud Storage* or Folder:
Control Panel->Add->Folder (* Only available for certain zones.)

There are two different type of folders: "Folders", and "Cloud Storage". Folders are stored on Solid State Drives (SSD) - faster I/O, but slightly more expensive. Cloud Storage are folders backed by regular Hard Disk Drives (HDD) - a bit slower, but cheaper.

The key difference is that Folders can be mounted on Containers, whereas Cloud Storage folders can't (they can only be accessed by SSH, HTTPS, rsync and WebDAV).

In short, in order to be able to access your storage from within a container, use a Folder.

Cloud Storage

We'll be using a Cloud Storage folder for the rest of this tutorial. It will appear on the control panel thus:
Cloud Storage folder on the Control Panel You can change the name of the folder and its password directly from the Control Panel.

Billing for both Folders and Cloud Storage is usage-based: you only pay for what you use - the usage is worked out every 4 hours, which is when the "size used" field on the Control Panel is updated. Note that the display fields round up to the nearest GB, but billing is for the exact amount used.

This means you do not need a plan or any top-up balance in order to create a folder (unlike drives), but you will need to have some provision to pay for storage once you start storing files.

Connection details

Click on the eye button on the Control Panel:
Connection details This page lists connection credentials and details to access a folder via SSH, HTTPS, rsync and WebDAV

Mounting the folder

We will be using WebDAV for this tutorial: In the Finder menus, go to Go->Connect to Server (or type ⌘-K).
Finder: Go->Connect to Server

A window will appear with a list "Favourite Servers" and a field in which to input the server address:
Insert the folder's server address

Enter the HTTPS URL of the folder as it appears in the connection details page, and click "Connect":
Connect to Server Note: Click the "+" button to add the server to the list of favourites

A window appears asking for the connection credentials: enter the username and password as they appear in the connection details, and click "Connect":
Credentials

That's it!

We're now connected to the folder. It will appear in the Finder sidebar under the "Shared" section:
Drag and drop files You can drag and/or drop files to this folder as you would in any other folder

The folder will appear mounted at the root of the Finder filesystem, as well as under the "Network" section:

Folder location

For the more technologically sophisticated...

WebDAV is a network mount protocol over HTTPS - this means traffic to and from the storage point is encrypted and secure.
Secure data storage

The folder will be mounted under /Volumes in the filesystem:
Terminal view

This means you can create a shortcut to it, say on your desktop, by creating a symbolic link:

ln -s [/Volumes/[Folder] ~/Desktop/[Shortcut name]  

Pretty nifty, eh?

Container-mountable folders

The tutorial so far has been focusing on Storage Folders, but the process is exactly the same with Container-mountable folders, with the added benefit of being able to access your container's filesystem from your local machine.

Let's start by creating a container. In the Control Panel, got to Add->Linux Containers->Server, and give your Container a name. For this example, I chose to create the container using a Debian 7 image:

Creating a Linux Container

Wait for the OS folder to finish imaging:
Imaging container

Then turn the container on:
Container running

Now, connect to the Container's folder (not the container itself) via WebDAV as above:

The whole filesystem of your Linux Container is now available in the Finder - this mean deploying to your server is as easy as a drag-and-drop!

Continue

You have successfully connected to your Cloud Storage and learnt the features of the web-based control panel.

If you're interested in more features, look at the list of Cloud Storage tutorials.