I have a NAS box that I automount several shares on my laptop. The shares are mounted to /mnt/nas/music, /mnt/nas/photos, etc.

When I browse /mnt/nas in Nautilus, no directories show up unless I go to the location bar and type in the directory name of the mounted share. Is this how autofs works, or should there be directories that always appear, and then when you try to access their contents, autofs will mount the remote share?

Thanks a bunch.

2 Answers 2


Use the option --ghost in your auto.master. Look at google for an example file, I found this exmaple:

# mount point   config file        options
/-              /etc/auto.direct   --ghost

/misc           /etc/auto.misc     --timeout=30 --ghost


From here: example (archived copy of original page)

  • This is what I was looking for! Mar 30, 2011 at 13:23

You might be using autofs to mount these directories. If you find the file /etc/auto.master, it means that you probably are. The way autofs works is that it mounts and displays directories only once you try to access them.

Autofs provides flexibilities like pulling from multiple servers, but in your case, you could add static entries to /etc/fstab if you know where these shares are located. For example, if you have a share located at IP address at the directory /content/music, and you want it to be mounted at /mnt/nas/music, you could add an entry like  /mnt/nas/music  nfs defaults    0   0

Don't forget to remove the appropriate entry from your auto.master!

To mount the new structure without restarting, type:

# service autofs restart
# mount -a
  • Maybe I need to clarify. I intentionally set up mounting using autofs to avoid delays at boot from mounting in fstab. I was wondering if it was possible to have an empty directory that autofs mounts to so i can see a list / have reminders of the various directories that i can mount on demand. Hopefully that makes my question clearer. Dec 15, 2010 at 4:17
  • Ah. I'm not sure in that case, but I have something in mind that might work. If you have a single server, then you could create a virtual filesystem tree using bind mounts, and export that. Something like nfs4.
    – shroff
    Dec 22, 2010 at 9:02
  • Also, in order to avoid delays with /etc/fstab, you could add the _netdev option to nfs binds to signify that they are network devices. This will ensure that init doesn't try to mount them before the NICs are up.
    – shroff
    Dec 22, 2010 at 9:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.