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Mac OSX Snow Loepard breaks NIS Automount

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I just had to upgrade the Mac server which I had previously set up as a NIS/Automount client, and found that suddenly automount no longer works right. It looks like this is genuinely broken in the new automountd, but of course I can’t tell for sure without source code access.



In an earlier post I detailed how to set up a Leopard server as a NIS client with automount. That procedure required editing a couple files in the /etc/ directory. The upgrade to Snow Leopard replaced those files (auto_master and autofs.conf) with new files, wiping out my changes. It should be easy enough to just put the changes back, right? Wrong.


Setting the “resvport” option in autofs.conf works fine, as before, to get the automountd to use reserved ports so it can mount NFS filesystems from non-mac servers.

The problem is /etc/auto_master. In my previous instructions I had to simply change “+auto_master” to “+auto.master” to get automountd to load the NIS auto.master map to pick up all the other auto-maps. Well, making that change in Snow Leopard DOES NOT WORK. The automount daemon does not load the NIS auto.master map, so nothing works.

In my case I need this machine to see only two direct maps, auto.home and auto.project, so I modified the /etc/auto_master file to reference them directly as if they were local:

#
# Automounter master map
#
/home            auto_home    -nobrowse,hidefromfinder
/project        auto_project    -nobrowse,hidefromfinder

Then edited the two files /etc/auto_home and /etc/auto_project:

/etc/auto_home:
#
# Automounter map for /home
#
+auto.home    # Use directory service

/etc/auto_project:
#
# Automounter map for /project
#
+auto.project    # Use directory service

Those two direct maps pull in the NIS maps, and both work. After making those changes run ‘automount -vc’ as root to tell automountd to relaod its maps. I spoke with Apple support, and while they were friendly the response was that one has to pay them $695 in order to open a support case on something which is outside their normal support scope, whatever that is. Since I have a workaround I chose to just file bug feedback at http://www.apple.com/feedback/server.html.

Also changed in Snow Leopard is the Directory Utility, which no longer lives in the Applications->Utilities folder. Now it lives under a link in System Preferences, Accounts, there is a button on the middle right side of the pane to get to the Directory Utility, which at first glance appears to be about the same as in Leopard 10.5.
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