This section describes more advanced autofs features and topics.
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.
If you have a map with many subdirectories specified, as in the following example, consider using string substitutions.
john willow:/home/john mary willow:/home/mary dollyp willow:/home/dollyp 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/& dollyp 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:
You can use the universal substitute character, the asterisk (*), to match any key. For example, you could mount the /export file system from all hosts through this map entry.
Each ampersand is substituted by the value of any given key. Autofs interprets the asterisk as an end-of-file character.
If you have a map entry that contains special characters, you might have to mount directories that have names that the autofs map parser cannot process properly. The autofs parser is sensitive to names that contain colons, commas, and spaces, for example. These names should be enclosed in double quotes, as in the following example:
/vms -ro vmsserver: - - - "rc0:dk1 - " /mac -ro gator:/ - "Mr Disk - "