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This howto is based on info gathered from and ,

Setting up OSX4 Macintosh as an NFS client[edit]

This howto describes how to set up a mac as an (automount) NFS client mounting its homedirectories from remote directory to local location /home


Before starting, make sure that currently /home is empty. If not, move its contents to another place.

Setting up automount[edit]

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  1. Using the file manager (for filemanager usage see first point of [MacLdapAuth]), open Applications/Utilities/NetinfoManager
  2. Under mounts, create a new directory named after the remote location: . To create a new directory, click on its parent (mounts), and then either click on the new item or the Directory->New Subdirectory menu item. Chose the name by editing the name propertie's value.
  3. Set up the following properties (Using Directory->New Property):
    1. name=
    2. dir=/home
    3. type=nfs (or is that vfstype=nfs ?)
  4. Set up the opts property to contain the following item. This is done by adding the first item using the Directory->New Property menu item, and additional items using Directory->New Entry.
    1. net
    2. -P
    3. -i

-P is used to tell the Macintosh to use a privileged client port to access the server (or else the server would refuse access), -i is used

Save everything by clicking on another directory within the Netinfo manager (for instance, users). You are then prompted with a dialog asking you whether you want to save (yes), and update the current view (yes)

On some newer version of Leopard, you can edit /etc/fstab directly: /home nfs async,intr,soft,-P

And comment out the /home line from /etc/automaster


  1. Before having added net, type sudo mount /home in a terminal. If it succeeds, that we are allowed access to the server. Unmount /home again (sudo umount /home), and proceed to next step. If error, try checking the server's logs to see what is going on (/var/log/message, /var/log/syslog)
  2. After having added net, type sudo mount /home again. This time, it should fail with a message saying that /home is owned by automounter. If any other error occurs (such as mount: exec /usr/sbin/mount_ for /home: No such file or directory), make sure /home is empty. A reboot might be needed to after emptying it. If that doesn't help, try removing the /home altogether (automount should be able to re-create it when needed).
  3. Reboot you Mac, and try to log in using a server user. Log in should proceed quickly now, and the user should have a view on his homedirectory on the server.