Autofs recognizes some characters as having a special meaning. For example, some characters are used for substitutions and some characters are used to protect other characters from the autofs map parser.
john willow:/home/john mary willow:/home/mary joe willow:/home/joe able pine:/export/able baker peach:/export/baker
You can use the ampersand character (&) to substitute the key wherever the key appears. If you use the ampersand, the previous map changes to the following text:
john willow:/home/& mary willow:/home/& joe willow:/home/& able pine:/export/& baker peach:/export/&
You could also use key substitutions in a direct map in situations such as the following example:
You can also simplify the entry further as follows:
Notice that the ampersand substitution uses the whole key string. Therefore, if the key in a direct map starts with a / (as it should), the slash is included in the substitution. Consequently, for example, you could not include the following entry:
Each ampersand is substituted by the value of any given key. Autofs interprets the asterisk as an end-of-file character.