21.3.2. autofs Configuration

The primary configuration file for the automounter is /etc/auto.master, also referred to as the master map which may be changed as described in the introduction section above. The master map lists autofs-controlled mount points on the system, and their corresponding configuration files or network sources known as automount maps. The format of the master map is as follows:
<mount-point> <map-name> <options>
  • mount-point is the autofs mount point such as /home.
  • map-name is the name of a map source which contains a list of mount points, and the file system location from which those mount points should be mounted. The syntax for a map entry is described below.
  • options if supplied, will apply to all entries in the given map provided they don't themselves have options specified. This behavior is different from autofs version 4 where the options where cumulative. This has been changed to meet our primary goal of mixed environment compatibility.
The following is a sample /etc/auto.master file:
~]$ cat /etc/auto.master
/home /etc/auto.misc
The general format of maps is similar to the master map, however the "options" appear between the mount point and the location instead of at the end of the entry as in the master map:
<mount-point>   [<options>]   <location>
  • <mount-point> is the autofs mount point. This can be a single directory name for an indirect mount or the full path of the mount point for direct mounts. Each direct and indirect map entry key (<mount-point> above) may be followed by a space separated list of offset directories (sub directory names each beginning with a "/") making them what is known as a mutli-mount entry.
  • <options> if supplied, are the mount options for the map entries that do not specify their own options.
  • <location> is the file system location such as a local file system path (preceded with the Sun map format escape character ":" for map names beginning with "/"), an NFS file system or other valid file system location.
The following is a sample map file:
~]$ cat /etc/auto.misc
payroll -fstype=nfs personnel:/dev/hda3
sales -fstype=ext3 :/dev/hda4
The first column in a map file indicates the autofs mount point (sales and payroll from the server called personnel). The second column indicates the options for the autofs mount while the third column indicates the source of the mount. Following the above configuration, the autofs mount points will be /home/payroll and /home/sales. The -fstype= option is often omitted and is generally not needed for correct operation.
The automounter will create the directories if they do not exist. If the directories exist before the automounter was started, the automounter will not remove them when it exits. You can start or restart the automount daemon by issuing the following command:
service autofs start
service autofs restart
Using the above configuration, if a process requires access to an autofs unmounted directory such as /home/payroll/2006/July.sxc, the automount daemon automatically mounts the directory. If a timeout is specified, the directory will automatically be unmounted if the directory is not accessed for the timeout period.
You can view the status of the automount daemon by issuing the following command in your terminal:
/sbin/service/autofs status