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.
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 - "