Automounts on macOS with NFS

The best method to automatically connect your Mac to network storage.

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