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AFP.CONF(5) Netatalk AFP Fileserver Manual AFP.CONF(5)


afp.conf - Netatalk configuration file


The afp.conf file is the configuration file for the Netatalk AFP file server.

All AFP specific configuration and AFP volume definitions are done via this file.


The file consists of sections and parameters. A section begins with the name of the section in square brackets and continues until the next section begins. Sections contain parameters of the form:

name = value

The file is line-based - that is, each newline-terminated line represents either a comment, a section name or a parameter.

Section and parameter names are case sensitive.

Only the first equals sign in a parameter is significant. Whitespace before or after the first equals sign is discarded. Leading, trailing and internal whitespace in section and parameter names is irrelevant. Leading and trailing whitespace in a parameter value is discarded. Internal whitespace within a parameter value is retained verbatim.

Any line beginning with a semicolon (“;”) or a hash (“#”) character is ignored, as are lines containing only whitespace.

Any line ending in a “ \ ” is continued on the next line in the customary UNIX fashion.

The values following the equals sign in parameters are all either a string (no quotes needed) or a boolean, which may be given as yes/no, 1/0 or true/false. Case is not significant in boolean values, but is preserved in string values. Some items such as "file perm"s are numeric.

The parameter include = path allows you to include one config file inside another. The file is included literally, as though typed in place. Nested includes are not supported.


Each section in the configuration file (except for the [Global] section) describes a shared resource (known as a “volume”). The section name is the name of the volume and the parameters within the section define the volume attributes and options.

There are two special sections, [Global] and [Homes], which are described under special sections. The following notes apply to ordinary section descriptions.

A volume consists of a directory to which access is being given plus a description of the access rights which are granted to the user of the service. For volumes the path option must specify the directory to share.

Any volume section without path option is considered a vol preset which can be selected in other volume sections via the vol preset option and constitutes defaults for the volume. For any option specified both in a preset and in a volume section the volume section setting completely substitutes the preset option.

The access rights granted by the server are masked by the access rights granted to the specified or guest UNIX user by the host system. The server does not grant more access than the host system grants.

The following sample section defines an AFP volume. The user has full access to the path /foo/bar. The share is accessed via the share name baz:

path = /foo/bar


The [Global] section

Parameters in this section apply to the server as a whole. Parameters denoted by a (G) below are must be set in this section.

The [Homes] section

This section enable sharing of the UNIX server user home directories. Specifying an optional path parameter means that not the whole user home will be shared but the subdirectory path. It is necessary to define the basedir regex option. It should be a regex which matches the parent directory of the user homes. Parameters denoted by a (H) belong to volume sections. The optional parameter home name can be used to change the AFP volume name which $u's home by default. See below under VARIABLE SUBSTITUTIONS.

The following example illustrates this. Given all user home directories are stored under /home:

path = afp-data
basedir regex = /home

For a user john this results in an AFP home volume with a path of /home/john/afp-data.

If basedir regex contains symlink, set the canonicalized absolute path. When /home links to /usr/home:

basedir regex = /usr/home


Parameters define the specific attributes of sections.

Some parameters are specific to the [Global] section (e.g., log type). All others are permissible only in volume sections. The letter G in parentheses indicates that a parameter is specific to the [Global] section. The letter V indicates that a parameter can be specified in a volume specific section.


You can use variables in volume names. The use of variables in paths is limited to $u.

1.if you specify an unknown variable, it will not get converted.

2.if you specify a known variable, but that variable doesn't have a value, it will get ignored.

The variables which can be used for substitutions are:




client's ip address


volume pathname on server


full name (contents of the gecos field in the passwd file)


group name




client's ip, without port


server name (this can be the hostname)


user name (if guest, it is the user that guest is running as)


volume name


prints dollar sign ($)


Authentication Options

ad domain = DOMAIN (G)

Append @DOMAIN to username when authenticating. Useful in Active Directory environments that otherwise would require the user to enter the full user@domain string.

admin auth user = user (G)

Specifying e.g. "admin auth user = root" whenever a normal user login fails, afpd will try to authenticate as the specified admin auth user. If this succeeds, a normal session is created for the original connecting user. Said differently: if you know the password of admin auth user, you can authenticate as any other user.

admin group = group (G)

Allows users of a certain group to be seen as the superuser when they log in. This option is disabled by default.

force user = USER (G)

This specifies a UNIX user name that will be assigned as the default user for all users connecting to this server. This is useful for sharing files. You should also use it carefully as using it incorrectly can cause security problems.

force group = GROUP (G)

This specifies a UNIX group name that will be assigned as the default primary group for all users connecting to this server.

k5 keytab = path (G), k5 service = service (G), k5 realm = realm (G)

These are required if the server supports the Kerberos 5 authentication UAM.

nt domain = DOMAIN (G), nt separator = SEPARATOR (G)

Use for e.g. winbind authentication, prepends both strings before the username from login and then tries to authenticate with the result through the available and active UAM authentication modules.

save password = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Enables or disables the ability of clients to save passwords locally.

set password = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Enables or disables the ability of clients to change their passwords via chooser or the "connect to server" dialog.

uam list = uam list (G)

Space or comma separated list of UAMs. (The default is "").

The most commonly used UAMs are:

allows guest logins

( or Allow logins with passwords transmitted in the clear. (legacy)

allows Random Number and Two-Way Random Number Exchange for authentication (requires a separate file containing the passwords, either @pkgconfdir@/afppasswd file or the one specified via "passwd file"). See afppasswd(1) for details. (legacy)

( or Allow Diffie-Hellman eXchange (DHX) for authentication.

( or Allow Diffie-Hellman eXchange 2 (DHX2) for authentication.

Allow Kerberos V for authentication (optional)

uam path = path (G)

Sets the default path for UAMs for this server (default is ${prefix}/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/netatalk).

Charset Options

With OS X Apple introduced the AFP3 protocol. One of the big changes was, that AFP3 uses Unicode names encoded as Decomposed UTF-8 (UTF8-MAC). Previous AFP/OS versions used charsets like MacRoman, MacCentralEurope, etc.

To be able to serve AFP3 and older clients at the same time, afpd needs to be able to convert between UTF-8 and Mac charsets. Even OS X clients partly still rely on the mac charset. As there's no way, afpd can detect the codepage a pre AFP3 client uses, you have to specify it using the mac charset option. The default is MacRoman, which should be fine for most western users.

As afpd needs to interact with UNIX operating system as well, it needs to be able to convert from UTF8-MAC / Mac charset to the UNIX charset. By default afpd uses UTF8. You can set the UNIX charset using the unix charset option. If you're using extended characters in the configuration files for afpd, make sure your terminal matches the unix charset.

mac charset = CHARSET (G)/(V)

Specifies the Mac clients charset, e.g. MAC_ROMAN. This is used to convert strings and filenames to the clients codepage for OS9 and Classic, i.e. for authentication and AFP messages (SIGUSR2 messaging). This will also be the default for the volumes mac charset. Defaults to MAC_ROMAN.

unix charset = CHARSET (G)

Specifies the servers unix charset, e.g. ISO-8859-15 or EUC-JP. This is used to convert strings to/from the systems locale, e.g. for authentication, server messages and volume names. If LOCALE is set, the systems locale is used. Defaults to UTF8.

vol charset = CHARSET (G)/(V)

Specifies the encoding of the volumes filesystem. By default, it is the same as unix charset.

Password Options

passwd file = path (G)

Sets the path to the Randnum UAM passwd file for this server (default is @pkgconfdir@/afppasswd).

passwd minlen = number (G)

Sets the minimum password length, if supported by the UAM

Network Options

advertise ssh = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Allows old Mac OS X clients (10.3.3-10.4) to automagically establish a tunneled AFP connection through SSH. If this option is set, the server's answers to client's FPGetSrvrInfo requests contain an additional entry. It depends on both client's settings and a correctly configured and running sshd(8) on the server to let things work.

Setting this option is not recommended since globally encrypting AFP connections via SSH will increase the server's load significantly. On the other hand, Apple's client side implementation of this feature in MacOS X versions prior to 10.3.4 contained a security flaw.

afp interfaces = name [name ...] (G)

Specifies the network interfaces that the server should listens on. The default is advertise the first IP address of the system, but to listen for any incoming request.

afp listen = ip address[:port] [ip address[:port] ...] (G)

Specifies the IP address that the server should advertise and listens to. The default is advertise the first IP address of the system, but to listen for any incoming request. The network address may be specified either in dotted-decimal format for IPv4 or in hexadecimal format for IPv6.

IPv6 address + port combination must use URL the format using square brackets [IPv6]:port

afp port = port number (G)

Allows a different TCP port to be used for AFP. The default is 548. Also sets the default port applied when none specified in an afp listen option.

cnid listen = ip address[:port] [ip address[:port] ...] (G)

Specifies the IP address that the CNID server should listen on. The default is localhost:4700.

disconnect time = number (G)

Keep disconnected AFP sessions for number hours before dropping them. Default is 24 hours.

dsireadbuf = number (G)

Scale factor that determines the size of the DSI/TCP readahead buffer, default is 12. This is multiplies with the DSI server quantum (default 1MiB) to give the size of the buffer. Increasing this value might increase throughput in fast local networks for volume to volume copies. Note: This buffer is allocated per afpd child process, so specifying large values will eat up large amount of memory (buffer size * number of clients).

fqdn = name[:port] (G)

Specifies a fully-qualified domain name, with an optional port. This is discarded if the server cannot resolve it. This option is not honored by AppleShare clients <= 3.8.3. This option is disabled by default. Use with caution as this will involve a second name resolution step on the client side. Also note that afpd will advertise this name:port combination but not automatically listen to it.

hostname = name (G)

Use this instead of the result from calling hostname for determining which IP address to advertise, therefore the hostname is resolved to an IP which is the advertised. This is NOT used for listening and it is also overwritten by afp listen.

max connections = number (G)

Sets the maximum number of clients that can simultaneously connect to the server (default is 200).

server quantum = number (G)

This specifies the DSI server quantum. The default value is 0x100000 (1 MiB). The maximum value is 0xFFFFFFFFF, the minimum is 32000. If you specify a value that is out of range, the default value will be set. Do not change this value unless you're absolutely sure, what you're doing

sleep time = number (G)

Keep sleeping AFP sessions for number hours before disconnecting clients in sleep mode. Default is 10 hours.

tcprcvbuf = number (G)

Try to set TCP receive buffer using setsockopt(). Often OSes impose restrictions on the applications ability to set this value.

tcpsndbuf = number (G)

Try to set TCP send buffer using setsockopt(). Often OSes impose restrictions on the applications ability to set this value.

recvfile = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Whether to use splice() on Linux for receiving data.

splice size = number (default: 64k) (G)

Maximum number of bytes spliced.

use sendfile = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Whether to use sendfile syscall for sending file data to clients.

zeroconf = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Whether to use automatic Zeroconf service registration if Avahi or mDNSResponder were compiled in.

Miscellaneous Options

afp read locks = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Whether to apply locks to the byte region read in FPRead calls. The AFP spec mandates this, but it's not really in line with UNIX semantics and is a performance hug.

afpstats = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Whether to provide AFP runtime statistics (connected users, open volumes) via dbus.

basedir regex = regex (H)

Regular expression which matches the parent directory of the user homes. If basedir regex contains symlink, you must set the canonicalized absolute path. In the simple case this is just a path i.e. basedir regex = /home

chmod request = preserve (default) | ignore | simple (G)/(V)

Advanced permission control that deals with ACLs.

ignore - UNIX chmod() requests are completely ignored, use this option to allow the parent directory's ACL inheritance full control over new items.

preserve - preserve ZFS ACEs for named users and groups or POSIX ACL group mask

simple - just to a chmod() as requested without any extra steps

close vol = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Whether to close volumes possibly opened by clients when they're removed from the configuration and the configuration is reloaded.

cnid mysql host = MySQL server address (G)

name or address of a MySQL server for use with the mysql CNID backend.

cnid mysql user = MySQL user (G)

MySQL user for authentication with the server.

cnid mysql pw = password (G)

Password for MySQL server.

cnid mysql db = database name (G)

Name of an existing database for which the specified user has full privileges.

cnid server = ipaddress[:port] (G)/(V)

Specifies the IP address and port of a cnid_metad server, required for CNID dbd backend. Defaults to localhost:4700. The network address may be specified either in dotted-decimal format for IPv4 or in hexadecimal format for IPv6.-

dbus daemon = path (G)

Sets the path to dbus-daemon binary used by Spotlight feature. The default value [/usr/bin/dbus-daemon] is determined when building netatalk.

dircachesize = number (G)

Maximum possible entries in the directory cache. The cache stores directories and files. It is used to cache the full path to directories and CNIDs which considerably speeds up directory enumeration.

Default size is 8192, maximum size is 131072. Given value is rounded up to nearest power of 2. Each entry takes about 100 bytes, which is not much, but remember that every afpd child process for every connected user has its cache.

extmap file = path (G)

Sets the path to the file which defines file extension type/creator mappings. (default is @pkgconfdir@/extmap.conf).

force xattr with sticky bit = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G/V)

Writing metadata xattr on directories with the sticky bit set may fail even though we may have write access to a directory, because if the sticky bit is set only the owner is allowed to write xattrs.

By enabling this option Netatalk will write the metadata xattr as root.

guest account = name (G)

Specifies the user that guests should use (default is nobody). The name must be a valid user on the host system.

home name = name (H)

AFP user home volume name. The default is $u's home. The name must contain "$u".

ignored attributes = all | nowrite | nodelete | norename (G)/(V)

Specify a set of file and directory attributes that shall be ignored by the server, all includes all the other options.

In OS X when the Finder sets a lock on a file/directory or you set the BSD uchg flag in the Terminal, all three attributes are used. Thus in order to ignore the Finder lock/BSD uchg flag, add set ignored attributes = all.

login message = message (G)/(V)

Sets a message to be displayed when clients logon to the server. The message should be in unix charset. Extended characters are allowed.

mimic model = model (G)

Specifies the icon model that appears on clients. Defaults to off. Note that netatalk must support Zeroconf. Examples: RackMac (same as Xserve), PowerBook, PowerMac, Macmini, iMac, MacBook, MacBookPro, MacBookAir, MacPro, AppleTV1,1, AirPort.

signature = <text> (G)

Specify a server signature. The maximum length is 16 characters. This option is useful for clustered environments, to provide fault isolation etc. By default, afpd generate signature and saving it to /var/lib/netatalk/afp_signature.conf automatically (based on random number). See also asip-status(1).

solaris share reservations = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Use share reservations on Solaris. Solaris CIFS server uses this too, so this makes a lock coherent multi protocol server.

sparql results limit = NUMBER (default: UNLIMITED) (G)

Impose a limit on the number of results queried from Tracker via SPARQL queries.

spotlight = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)/(V)

Whether to enable Spotlight searches. Note: once the global option is enabled, any volume that is not enabled won't be searchable at all. See also dbus daemon option.

spotlight attributes = COMMA SEPARATED STRING (default: EMPTY) (G)

A list of attributes that are allowed to be used in Spotlight searches. By default all attributes can be searched, passing a string limits attributes to elements of the string. Example:

spotlight attributes = *,kMDItemTextContent

spotlight expr = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Whether to allow the use of logic expression in searches.

start dbus = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Whether to start a dbus instance for use with Tracker.

start tracker = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (G)

Whether to start Tracker with "tracker daemon -s". In case of old Tracker, "tracker-control -s" is used instead.

veto message = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Send optional AFP messages for vetoed files. Then whenever a client tries to access any file or directory with a vetoed name, it will be sent an AFP message indicating the name and the directory.

vol dbpath = path (G)/(V)

Sets the database information to be stored in path. You have to specify a writable location, even if the volume is read only. The default is /var/lib/netatalk/CNID/$v/.

vol dbnest = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

Setting this option to true brings back Netatalk 2 behaviour of storing the CNID database in a folder called .AppleDB inside the volume root of each share.

volnamelen = number (G)

Max length of UTF8-MAC volume name for Mac OS X. Note that Hangul is especially sensitive to this.

73: limit of Mac OS X 10.1
80: limit of Mac OS X 10.4/10.5 (default)
255: limit of recent Mac OS X

Mac OS 9 and earlier are not influenced by this, because Maccharset volume name is always limited to 27 bytes.

vol preset = name (G)/(V)

Use section name as option preset for all volumes (when set in the [Global] section) or for one volume (when set in that volume's section).

zeroconf name = name (G)

Specifies a human-readable name that uniquely describes registered services. The zeroconf name is advertised as UTF-8, up to 63 octets (bytes) in length. Defaults to hostname. Note that netatalk must support Zeroconf.

Logging Options

log file = logfile (G)

If not specified Netatalk logs to syslogs daemon facility. Otherwise it logs to logfile.

log level = type:level [type:level ...] (G), log level = type:level,[type:level, ...] (G)

Specify that any message of a loglevel up to the given log level should be logged.

By default afpd logs to syslog with a default logging setup equivalent to default:note

logtypes: default, afpdaemon, logger, uamsdaemon

loglevels: severe, error, warn, note, info, debug, debug6, debug7, debug8, debug9, maxdebug

Both logtype and loglevels are case insensitive.

Filesystem Change Events (FCE)

Netatalk includes a nifty filesystem change event mechanism where afpd processes notify interested listeners about certain filesystem event by UDP network datagrams.

The following FCE events are defined:

•file modification (fmod)

•file deletion (fdel)

•directory deletion (ddel)

•file creation (fcre)

•directory creation (dcre)

•file move or rename (fmov)

•directory move or rename (dmov)

•login (login)

•logout (logout)

fce listener = host[:port] (G)

Enables sending FCE events to the specified host, default port is 12250 if not specified. Specifying multiple listeners is done by having this option once for each of them.

fce version = 1|2 (G)

FCE protocol version, default is 1. You need version 2 for the fmov, dmov, login or logout events.

fce events = fmod,fdel,ddel,fcre,dcre,fmov,dmov,login,logout (G)

Specifies which FCE events are active, default is fmod,fdel,ddel,fcre,dcre.

fce coalesce = all|delete|create (G)

Coalesce FCE events.

fce holdfmod = seconds (G)

This determines the time delay in seconds which is always waited if another file modification for the same file is done by a client before sending an FCE file modification event (fmod). For example saving a file in Photoshop would generate multiple events by itself because the application is opening, modifying and closing a file multiple times for every "save". Default: 60 seconds.

fce ignore names = NAME[/NAME2/...] (G)

Slash delimited list of filenames for which FCE events shall not be generated. Default: .DS_Store.

fce ignore directories = NAME[,NAME2,...] (G)

Comma delimited list of directories for which FCE events shall not be generated. Default: empty.

fce notify script = PATH (G)

Script which will be executed for every FCE event, see contrib/shell_utils/ from the Netatalk sources for an example script.

Debug Parameters

These options are useful for debugging only.

tickleval = number (G)

Sets the tickle timeout interval (in seconds). Defaults to 30.

timeout = number (G)

Specify the number of tickles to send before timing out a connection. The default is 4, therefore a connection will timeout after 2 minutes.

client polling = BOOLEAN (default: no) (G)

With this option enabled, afpd won't advertise that it is capable of server notifications, so that connected clients poll the server every 10 seconds to detect changes in opened server windows. Note: Depending on the number of simultaneously connected clients and the network's speed, this can lead to a significant higher load on your network!

Do not use this option any longer as present Netatalk correctly supports server notifications, allowing connected clients to update folder listings in case another client changed the contents.

Options for ACL handling

By default, the effective permission of the authenticated user are only mapped to the mentioned UARights permission structure, not the UNIX mode. You can adjust this behaviour with the configuration option map acls:

map acls = none|rights|mode (G)


no mapping of ACLs


effective permissions are mapped to UARights structure. This is the default.


ACLs are additionally mapped to the UNIX mode of the filesystem object.

If you want to be able to display ACLs on the client, you must setup both client and server as part on a authentication domain (directory service, e.g. LDAP, Open Directory, Active Directory). The reason is, in OS X ACLs are bound to UUIDs, not just uid's or gid's. Therefore Netatalk must be able to map every filesystem uid and gid to a UUID so that it can return the server side ACLs which are bound to UNIX uid and gid mapped to OS X UUIDs.

Netatalk can query a directory server using LDAP queries. Either the directory server already provides an UUID attribute for user and groups (Active Directory, Open Directory) or you reuse an unused attribute (or add a new one) to you directory server (eg OpenLDAP).

The following LDAP options must be configured for Netatalk:

ldap auth method = none|simple|sasl (G)

Authentication method: none | simple | sasl


anonymous LDAP bind


simple LDAP bind


SASL. Not yet supported !

ldap auth dn = dn (G)

Distinguished Name of the user for simple bind.

ldap auth pw = password (G)

Password for simple bind.

ldap server = host (G)

Name or IP address of your LDAP Server. This is only needed for explicit ACL support in order to be able to query LDAP for UUIDs.

You can use afpldaptest(1) to syntactically check your config.

ldap userbase = base dn (G)

DN of the user container in LDAP.

ldap userscope = scope (G)

Search scope for user search: base | one | sub

ldap groupbase = base dn (G)

DN of the group container in LDAP.

ldap groupscope = scope (G)

Search scope for group search: base | one | sub

ldap uuid attr = dn (G)

Name of the LDAP attribute with the UUIDs.

Note: this is used both for users and groups.

ldap name attr = dn (G)

Name of the LDAP attribute with the users short name.

ldap group attr = dn (G)

Name of the LDAP attribute with the groups short name.

ldap uuid string = STRING (G)

Format of the uuid string in the directory. A series of x and -, where every x denotes a value 0-9a-f and every - is a separator.

Default: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

ldap uuid encoding = string | ms-guid (default: string) (G)

Format of the UUID of the LDAP attribute, allows usage of the binary objectGUID fields from Active Directory. If left unspecified, string is the default, which passes through the ASCII UUID returned by most other LDAP stores. If set to ms-guid, the internal UUID representation is converted to and from the binary format used in the objectGUID attribute found on objects in Active Directory when interacting with the server.

See also the options ldap user filter and ldap group filter.


UUID is a string, use with e.g. OpenDirectory.


Binary objectGUID from Active Directory

ldap user filter = STRING (default: unused) (G)

Optional LDAP filter that matches user objects. This is necessary for Active Directory environments where users and groups are stored in the same directory subtree.

Recommended setting for Active Directory: objectClass=user.

ldap group filter = STRING (default: unused) (G)

Optional LDAP filter that matches group objects. This is necessary for Active Directory environments where users and groups are stored in the same directory subtree.

Recommended setting for Active Directory: objectClass=group.



The section name defines the volume name. No two volumes may have the same name. The volume name cannot contain the ':' character. The volume name is mangled if it is very long. Mac charset volume name is limited to 27 characters. UTF8-MAC volume name is limited to volnamelen parameter.

path = PATH (V)

The path name must be a fully qualified path name.

appledouble = ea|v2 (V)

Specify the format of the metadata files, which are used for saving Mac resource fork as well. Earlier versions used AppleDouble v2, the new default format is ea.

vol size limit = size in MiB (V)

Useful for Time Machine: limits the reported volume size, thus preventing Time Machine from using the whole real disk space for backup. Example: "vol size limit = 1000" would limit the reported disk space to 1 GB. IMPORTANT: This is an approximated calculation taking into account the contents of Time Machine sparsebundle images. Therefore you MUST NOT use this volume to store other content when using this option, because it would NOT be accounted for. The calculation works by reading the band size from the Info.plist XML file of the sparsebundle, reading the bands/ directory counting the number of band files, and then multiplying one with the other.

valid users = user @group (V)

The allow option allows the users and groups that access a share to be specified. Users and groups are specified, delimited by spaces or commas. Groups are designated by a @ prefix. Example:

valid users = user @group

invalid users = users/groups (V)

The deny option specifies users and groups who are not allowed access to the share. It follows the same format as the "valid users" option.

hosts allow = IP host address/IP netmask bits [ ... ] (V)

Only listed hosts and networks are allowed, all others are rejected. The network address may be specified either in dotted-decimal format for IPv4 or in hexadecimal format for IPv6.

Example: hosts allow = 2001:0db8:1234::/48

hosts deny = IP host address/IP netmask bits [ ... ] (V)

Listed hosts and nets are rejected, all others are allowed.

Example: hosts deny = 192.168.100/24 2001:db8::1428:57ab

cnid scheme = backend (V)

set the CNID backend to be used for the volume, default is [dbd] available schemes: [ dbd last tdb mysql]

ea = none|auto|sys|ad|samba (V)

Specify how Extended Attributes are stored. auto is the default.


Try sys (by setting an EA on the shared directory itself), fallback to ad. Requires writable volume for performing test. "read only = yes" overwrites auto with none. Use explicit "ea = sys|ad" for read-only volumes where appropriate.


Use filesystem Extended Attributes.


Use filesystem Extended Attributes, but append a 0 byte to each xattr in order to be compatible with Samba's vfs_streams_xattr.


Use files in .AppleDouble directories.


No Extended Attributes support.

mac charset = CHARSET (V)

specifies the Mac client charset for this Volume, e.g. MAC_ROMAN, MAC_CYRILLIC. If not specified the global setting is applied. This setting is only required if you need volumes, where the Mac charset differs from the one globally set in the [Global] section.

casefold = option (V)

The casefold option handles, if the case of filenames should be changed. The available options are:

tolower - Lowercases names in both directions.

toupper - Uppercases names in both directions.

xlatelower - Client sees lowercase, server sees uppercase.

xlateupper - Client sees uppercase, server sees lowercase.

password = password (V)

This option allows you to set a volume password, which can be a maximum of 8 characters long (using ASCII strongly recommended at the time of this writing).

file perm = mode (V), directory perm = mode (V)

Add(or) with the client requested permissions: file perm is for files only, directory perm is for directories only. Don't use with "unix priv = no".

Example. Volume for a collaborative workgroup

file perm = 0660 directory perm =


umask = mode (V)

set perm mask. Don't use with "unix priv = no".

preexec = command (V)

command to be run when the volume is mounted

postexec = command (V)

command to be run when the volume is closed

root preexec = command (V)

command to be run as root when the volume is mounted

root postexec = command (V)

command to be run as root when the volume is closed

rolist = users/groups (V)

Allows certain users and groups to have read-only access to a share. This follows the allow option format.

rwlist = users/groups (V)

Allows certain users and groups to have read/write access to a share. This follows the allow option format.

veto files = vetoed names (V)

hide files and directories,where the path matches one of the '/' delimited vetoed names. The veto string must always be terminated with a '/', e.g. "veto files = veto1/", "veto files = veto1/veto2/".

Volume options

Boolean volume options.

acls = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether to flag volumes as supporting ACLs. If ACL support is compiled in, this is yes by default.

case sensitive = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether to flag volumes as supporting case-sensitive filenames. If the filesystem is case-insensitive, set to no. However, it is not fully verified.

In spite of being case sensitive as a matter of fact, netatalk 3.1.3 and earlier did not notify kCaseSensitive flag to the client. Starting with 3.1.4, it is notified correctly by default.

cnid dev = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether to use the device number in the CNID backends. Helps when the device number is not constant across a reboot, e.g. cluster, ...

convert appledouble = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether automatic conversion from appledouble = v2 to appledouble = ea is performed when accessing filesystems from clients. This is generally useful, but costs some performance. It's recommendable to run dbd on volumes and do the conversion with that. Then this option can be set to no.

delete veto files = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

This option is used when Netatalk is attempting to delete a directory that contains one or more vetoed files or directories (see the veto files option). If this option is set to no (the default) then if a directory contains any non-vetoed files or directories then the directory delete will fail. This is usually what you want.

If this option is set to yes, then Netatalk will attempt to recursively delete any files and directories within the vetoed directory.

follow symlinks = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

The default setting is false thus symlinks are not followed on the server. This is the same behaviour as OS X's AFP server. Setting the option to true causes afpd to follow symlinks on the server. symlinks may point outside of the AFP volume, currently afpd doesn't do any checks for "wide symlinks".

This option will subtly break when the symlinks point across filesystem boundaries.

invisible dots = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

make dot files invisible. WARNING: enabling this option will lead to unwanted sideeffects were OS X applications when saving files to a temporary file starting with a dot first, then renaming the temp file to its final name, result in the saved file being invisible. The only thing this option is useful for is making files that start with a dot invisible on Mac OS 9. It's completely useless on Mac OS X, as both in Finder and in Terminal files starting with a dot are hidden anyway.

network ids = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether the server support network ids. Setting this to no will result in the client not using ACL AFP functions.

preexec close = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

A non-zero return code from preexec close the volume being immediately, preventing clients to mount/see the volume in question.

read only = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

Specifies the share as being read only for all users. Overwrites ea = auto with ea = none

root preexec close= BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

A non-zero return code from root_preexec closes the volume immediately, preventing clients to mount/see the volume in question.

search db = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

Use fast CNID database namesearch instead of slow recursive filesystem search. Relies on a consistent CNID database, i.e. Samba or local filesystem access lead to inaccurate or wrong results. Works only for "dbd" CNID db volumes.

stat vol = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether to stat volume path when enumerating volumes list, useful for automounting or volumes created by a preexec script.

time machine = BOOLEAN (default: no) (V)

Whether to enable Time Machine support for this volume.

unix priv = BOOLEAN (default: yes) (V)

Whether to use AFP3 UNIX privileges. This should be set for OS X clients. See also: file perm, directory perm and umask.


The AFP protocol mostly refers to files and directories by ID and not by name. Netatalk needs a way to store these ID's in a persistent way, to achieve this several different CNID backends are available. The CNID Databases are by default located in the /var/lib/netatalk/CNID/(volumename)/.AppleDB/ directory.


"Concurrent database", backend is based on Oracle Berkeley DB. With this backend several afpd daemons access the CNID database directly. Berkeley DB locking is used to synchronize access, if more than one afpd process is active for a volume. The drawback is, that the crash of a single afpd process might corrupt the database.


Access to the CNID database is restricted to the cnid_metad daemon process. afpd processes communicate with the daemon for database reads and updates. If built with Berkeley DB transactions the probability for database corruption is practically zero, but performance can be slower than with cdb


This backend is an exception, in terms of ID persistency. ID's are only valid for the current session. This is basically what afpd did in the 1.5 (and 1.6) versions. This backend is still available, as it is useful for e.g. sharing cdroms. Starting with Netatalk 3.0, it becomes the read only mode automatically.

Warning: It is NOT recommended to use this backend for volumes anymore, as afpd now relies heavily on a persistent ID database. Aliases will likely not work and filename mangling is not supported.

Even though ./configure --help might show that there are other CNID backends available, be warned those are likely broken or mainly used for testing. Don't use them unless you know what you're doing, they may be removed without further notice from future versions.


With OS X Apple introduced the AFP3 protocol. One of the most important changes was that AFP3 uses unicode names encoded as UTF-8 decomposed. Previous AFP/OS versions used codepages, like MacRoman, MacCentralEurope, etc.

afpd needs a way to preserve extended Macintosh characters, or characters illegal in unix filenames, when saving files on a unix filesystem. This version now uses UTF-8 as the default encoding for names. '/' will be converted to ':'.

Earlier versions used the the so called CAP encoding. An extended character (>0x7F) would be converted to a :xx sequence, e.g. the Apple Logo (MacRoman: 0xF0) was saved as :f0. Some special characters would be converted as to :xx notation as well. '/' would be encoded to :2f, a leading dot '.' might be encoded as :2e.

The vol charset option will allow you to select another volume encoding. afpd will accept any iconv(1) provided charset. It is highly recommended to stick to the default UTF-8.


afpd(8), afppasswd(5), afp_signature.conf(5), extmap.conf(5), cnid_metad(8)




11 Apr 2023 Netatalk 3.1.18