NetBSD currently uses amd for automatically mounting (network) file systems. This software package implements an automounter file system as a userland NFS daemon. While this generally works it has major drawbacks:
* File systems are not mounted directly on the desired mount point. As a result applications frequently use incorrect pathnames (e.g. `/amd/server/home/user` instead of `/home/user`) for automatically mounted directories or files beneath them. This is especially problematic in heterogeneous enviroments where not all machines use the same automounter.
* The automounter daemon cannot handle high I/O load very well; file access occasionally fails with intermittent errors.
* Userland NFS daemons are prone to deadlocking.
The milestones of this project are:
* implement a new automounter solution which has configurable mount points
* improve behavior under load I/O
* show benchmarks and implement automated tests
There are at least two possible approaches: one is to port FreeBSD's
autofs(4), which is an in-kernel file system. This has the advantage
of already existing, and being at least loosely Linux and Solaris
compatible. (One could also write a new autofs but that doesn't seem
like a dominant strategy.)
Another possible approach is a new userland daemon using puffs.
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