An Open Access Peon

09 September 2008

Automounting a CIFS share in Ubuntu

autofs is a tool that mounts and unmounts devices on demand. To use autofs to mount CIFS shares (Windows/Samba) in Ubuntu do the following:

$ sudo apt-get install autofs smbfs smbclient

Then edit /etc/auto.master and uncomment the smb line:

# $Id: auto.master,v 1.4 2005/01/04 14:36:54 raven Exp $
# Sample auto.master file
# This is an automounter map and it has the following format
# key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
# For details of the format look at autofs(5).
#/misc /etc/auto.misc --timeout=60
/smb /etc/auto.smb
#/misc /etc/auto.misc
#/net /etc/

Restart autofs:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/autofs restart

You can now view and mount CIFS shares by changing to the directory /smb/HOSTNAME/SHARENAME e.g. to mount and change directory to "photos" on "bart":

$ cd /smb/bart/photos

You can even list the shares on "bart" by doing:

$ ls /smb/bart/

What the default scripts don't provide is the ability to have per-connection mount options. In particular I wanted to mount some hosts read only and using UTF-8. I modified the /etc/auto.smb script as follows:


# This file must be executable to work! chmod 755!


if [ -e $optsfile ]; then
. $optsfile


I then created a connection specific file /etc/auto.smb.bart.opts containing:


Now any mounts on "bart" will be set read only and use the UTF-8 character set.


  • Thanks, very helpful post.

    Super trivial tweak: replace "/etc/init.d/autofs restart" with "sudo /etc/init.d/autofs restart". Won't work if it's not run as root (I suspect), plus running this as root will create the /smb directory, if it doesn't already exist.

    I also found this blog post to be helpful (just the bit about setting up a credfile) -

    With your guide + creating a credfile to supply username & password credentials, running on Ubuntu 8.04.1, and it seems to be working well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:18 am  

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