System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Home Directories

The home directory is the portion of a file system allocated to a user for storing private files. The amount of space you allocate for a home directory depends on the kinds of files the user creates and the type of work done. As a general rule, you should allocate at least 15 Mbytes of disk space for each user's home directory.

A home directory can be located either on the user's local system or on a remote file server. In either case, by convention the home directory should be created as /export/home/username. For a large site, you should store home directories on a server. Use a separate file system for each /export/homen directory to facilitate backing up and restoring home directories (for example, /export/home1, /export/home2).

Regardless of where their home directory is located, users usually access their home directories through a mount point named /home/username. When AutoFS is used to mount home directories, you are not permitted to create any directories under the /home mount point on any system. The system recognizes the special status of /home when Autofs is active. For more information about automounting home directories, see System Administration Guide, Volume 3.

To use the home directory anywhere on the network, you should always refer to it as $HOME, not as /export/home/username. The latter is machine-specific. In addition, any symbolic links created in a user's home directory should use relative paths (for example, ../../../x/y/x), so the links will be valid no matter where the home directory is mounted.