Managing File Systems in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

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Updated: July 2014

Automounting (autofs)

You can mount NFS file system resources by using a client-side service called automounting (or autofs). The autofs service enables a system to automatically mount and unmount NFS resources whenever you access them. The resource remains mounted as long as you remain in the directory and are using a file within that directory. If the resource is not accessed for a certain period of time, it is automatically unmounted.

The autofs service provides the following features:

  • NFS resources don't need to be mounted when the system boots, which saves booting time.

  • Users don't need to know the root password to mount and unmount NFS resources.

  • Network traffic might be reduced because NFS resources are mounted only when they are in use.

The autofs service is initialized by the automount utility, which runs automatically when a system is booted. The automountd daemon runs continuously and is responsible for the mounting and unmounting of NFS file systems on an as-needed basis. By default, the /home file system is mounted by the automount daemon.

With autofs, you can specify multiple servers to provide the same file system. This way, if one of these servers is down, autofs can try to mount the file system from another machine.

For complete information on how to set up and administer autofs, see Managing Network File Systems in Oracle Solaris 11.2 .