autofs(8) — Linux manual page


AUTOFS(8)                System Manager's Manual               AUTOFS(8)

NAME         top

       autofs - Service control for the automounter

SYNOPSIS         top

       If a SysV init script system is being used:
       @initdir@/autofs start|stop|restart|reload|status

       or if the systemd init system is being used:
       systemctl start|stop|restart|reload|status autofs.service

DESCRIPTION         top

       autofs controls the operation of the automount(8) daemon(s)
       running on the Linux system. Usually autofs is invoked at system
       boot time with the start parameter and at shutdown time with the
       stop parameter. Service control actions can also be manually
       invoked by the system administrator to shut down, restart, reload
       or obtain service status.

OPERATION         top

       autofs will consult a configuration file @mapdir@/auto.master
       (see auto.master(5)) by default to find mount points on the
       system. For each of those mount points automount(8) will mount
       and start a thread, with the appropriate parameters, to manage
       the mount point.

       @initdir@/autofs reload or systemctl autofs.service reload will
       check the current auto.master map against the current automount
       managed mounts. It will terminate those daemons or threads
       (depending on autofs version) whose entries have been removed,
       re-read the automount maps for entries that have changed and
       start new daemons or threads for entries that have been added.

       If an indirect map is modified then the change will become
       effective immediately.  If an indirect map uses the browse
       option, the master map contains direct mount maps or the
       auto.master map is modified then the autofs service control
       reload action must be rerun to activate the changes.

       However, if a map entry has offsets and is currently in use the
       offset mounts cannot be updated due to potential mount
       dependencies. In this case the map entry offsets will not be
       updated until after the map entry has expired.

       @initdir@/autofs status or systemctl status autofs.service will
       display the status of, automount(8), running or not. When using
       the systemd init system the status output includes somewhat more
       information related to the service status.

       systemctl(1) has more functions than the actions mentioned here,
       see systemctl(1) for more information.

SEE ALSO         top

       automount(8), autofs(5), autofs.conf(5), auto.master(5),
       autofs_ldap_auth.conf(5), systemctl(1).

AUTHOR         top

       This manual page was written by Christoph Lameter
       <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system.  Edited by
       H. Peter Anvin <> and Ian Kent

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the autofs (automount) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at ⟨⟩.  If
       you have a bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2023-12-22.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2023-11-03.)  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page,
       or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
       the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
       information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original
       manual page), send a mail to

                               9 Sep 1997                      AUTOFS(8)

Pages that refer to this page: autofs(5)auto.master(5)automount(8)