We have a NIS server with shared users' home directories in '/home'.

We're used to mounting the server's '/home' using '/home' as the mount point on each NIS client.

However, if we do this with a machine that has existing local users, their home directories will not be accessible because '/home' is now a mount point to the server.

How can we make both local and remote users' home directories accessible on the client?

4 Answers 4


What you can do is to setup an autofs mountpoint in, say, /home2. Then set each user's home directory as /home2/machine/user. If you set autofs to mount machine:/home in /home2/machine, then you have what you want, because the local /home can be mounted as /home2/localmachinename. And you can of course configure autofs via NIS.


If it's at all an option, I recommend making the “physical” location of each home directory something like /net/$hostname/$username, i.e., include the name of the server as part of the path. Then arrange for /home/$username to point to /home/$(server-of $username)/$username.

One possibility is to make /home a union mount of all the /net/*.

Alternatively, you can make /home an automount point and set up the automounter to mount /net/file-server/$username for a NIS user or /home.local/$username for a local user.


What we do is mount the server's home on /mnt/server/export/home, then on other machines symlink each user's home directory into the local /home. This can be maintained semi-automatically across machines with rsync.


You can specify both local and remote mounts in an automounter config file (we use the /etc/auto.home file).

We have:

/etc $ ypcat auto.master
auto.direct     --timeout=600
auto.home       --timeout=1800


/etc $ cat /etc/auto.home

localadmin        :/local/home/&
localuser         :/local/home/&

/etc $

Obviously very late, but hopefully useful for someone.

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