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 autofs.service status 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
       2020-09-18.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2020-08-25.)  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)