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on a Linux or Solaris server, using automount/autofs, how do i create/populate a directory with automount entries without mounting them ?

For example, i have /data yp:auto.data and /data/ subdirectories are only created after the first access. This is not persistent across reboot on Linux.

Is there a way to populate my /data without mounting all the disks ? So that users/applications see /data/disk1..N even if they are not mounted.

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I've just found BROWSE_MODE for RedHat docs.redhat.com/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/… it's poorly documented, i'm going to try it on monday. –  Benoît Oct 14 '11 at 22:38
    
Yep, BROWSE_MODE=yes seems to do the trick on RedHat. –  Benoît Oct 17 '11 at 9:20

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On Solaris, that's the default mode, and you need to specify -nobrowse in automount maps to disable it. (For instance, we have our source code workspaces browsable, but home directories under auto_home are not, since no one wants to wait for 30,000 subdirs to load when trying to save a file in their home directory using a GUI file selection dialog, especially not in GUI's that stat each one, causing a mount, just to determine whether to display a folder or file icon.)

For more details see the Browsing section of the automount(1m) man page and the autofs browsability sections of the System Administration Guide.

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