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AUTOFS(8) System Manager's Manual AUTOFS(8)


Service control for the automounter


If a SysV init script system is being used:
/etc/init.d/autofs start|stop|restart|reload|status

or if the systemd init system is being used:
systemctl start|stop|restart|reload|status autofs.service


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.


autofs will consult a configuration file /etc/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.

/etc/init.d/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.

/etc/init.d/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.


automount(8), autofs(5), autofs.conf(5), auto.master(5). autofs_ldap_auth.conf(5) systemctl(1)


This manual page was written by Christoph Lameter <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system. Edited by H. Peter Anvin <> and Ian Kent <>.
9 Sep 1997