Moutning remote filesystems locally, not as seemless as it could be...

James Gray james at
Sun May 13 10:02:49 UTC 2007

On 12/05/2007, at 7:36 PM, Gabriel Dragffy wrote:

> A while back I was mounting an NFS share locally, by having an entry
> in /etc/fstab. More recently I have switched to samba, and using  
> smbfs I
> can now do the same thing. It is extremely convenient having remote
> filesystems so tightly integrated, meaning any application can make  
> use
> of them.
> However, one huge problem that has bugged me, and has been exaggerated
> by the move towards networking-manage-gnome in a default desktop
> install, is that remote filesystems in /etc/fstab will fail to mount.
> This is because a network connection is only established once the
> computer has loaded up and a user logged in.
> It is growing increasingly irritating for me to always open up the
> terminal, run the command "sudo mount -a" and then wait a while as it
> mounts the filesystems that I would have liked already mounted.
> If any one has workarounds or suggestions I'd be glad to hear them!

Investigate "autofs" (as in the system service, not the fstab option  
that has a similar name :P).  It can be used to mount pretty much  
anything but grew out of an NFS heritage.  I've used it to automount  
NFS, SMB and and local file systems (like memory cards and CDROMs).

The general idea is you set up a mount point (locally) that only  
mounts a file system when something (or someone) tries to access the  
mount point's content.  Thus it doesn't matter if the network isn't  
available during the boot-up mount sequence, only when something  
tries to actually USE the auto-mounted file system.  If you have  
subsequent boot processes that rely on the remote file system, simply  
move the network start before autofs in the boot sequence ("man  
update-rc.d" for the proper way to do that).


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