Overview#Autofs is a program for automatically mounting File System directories on an as-needed basis.
Auto-mounts are mounted only as they are accessed, and are unmounted after a period of inactivity. Because of this, automounting NFS/Samba shares conserves bandwidth and offers better overall performance compared to static mounts via fstab.
To avoid confusion, the following terminologies will be used: automount is the program used to configure a mount point for Autofs. When autofs is started, an automount daemon is spawned for each map.
Auto-mount or auto-mounting refers to the process of automatically mounting filesystems. autofs is the program that controls the operation of the automount daemons.