I have been a very satisfied user of autofs for several years. Using a laptop in multiple location without reboot, could often cause annoying timeouts with hard mounted NFS shares.

So I found autofs, which did a great job, especially the ghost option is nice, making you able to browse the filesystem when it’s not mounted, and only seeing a small delay when the autofs mounts it for you at your wish.

I have now discovered that systemd has a mount option: https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd.mount.html
It can be used as systemd units, but also directly from /etc/fstab where I prefer to have my mount options.

To replicate the autofs functionality, add something like this to your mount options:

noauto,x-systemd.automount,x-systemd.idle-timeout=60,x-systemd.mount-timeout=30,_netdev

The above options will mount when you try to access the share, and it will unmount after 1 minute of idling, and the _netdev tells the system not to mount it before the network is ready.
More or less the same functionality as autofs, but no need to install additional software.


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