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?


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.

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.