"The world of automounters is a confusing one. For one thing, a
single automounter wasn't enough, so there are two of them for
Linux, called 'amd' and 'autofs'. While it's easy to say 'well,
just pick one and go on your way', many environments have demands
that will require both, and both serve different purposes and have
different strengths and weaknesses. The automounter world is not so
cut and dry. In this article, I'll give a light overview of what
amd and autofs look like, what their respective purposes are in
life, and go over some of the common configuration options for
each. Later, I'll spice things up by including use cases where one
will work better than the other and more advanced features
available to you as an administrator.
"Automounters can be a real pain in the neck. Admins don't like
things that are a pain in the neck, so one should be able to gather
that if we're putting up with these things, they must be pretty
darn useful--and they are. For one thing, automounters can get
their mounting information from centralized 'maps', which can be
flat files, or even NIS maps or sections of an LDAP directory. This
is far easier than editing 300 /etc/fstab files for different
static NFS mounts..."
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