Automounts on macOS with NFS

The best method to automatically connect your Mac to network storage.
Tags: macOS, NAS, NFS

While SSD storage remains relatively low capacity and expensive, it’s advantageous to have higher capacity 3.5” SATA drives available on a local network. We recommend WD Red or Seagate IronWolf drives. Synology and Seagate sell excellent multi-bay NAS enclosures.

NFS is recommended over SMB when mounting NAS shares on local network. Note that NFS does not allow for password-based logins and has some issues with Spotlight integration in the current version of macOS. However, in our experience, it is quite a bit faster and a more reliable connection than SMB. It’s also recommended that a machine with automounts enabled is stably connected to the NAS via Ethernet.

NAS shares will be accessible at /mnt/NAS. It is no longer recommended to automount shares at /Volumes. Create this directory then edit the auto_master file:

sudo mkdir /mnt /mnt/NAS
sudo nano /etc/auto_master

Append this line to /etc/auto_master:

/mnt/NAS                auto_nas

Create a new file at /etc/auto_nas:

# One share per line
Documents -fstype=nfs,nfc IP_ADDRESS:/shares/Documents

Reboot. The shares should load automatically and be accessible to all macOS users.

If you need to disable automounts, here’s how to revert:

cd /etc
sudo cp auto_master~orig auto_master
sudo rm auto_nas