How to mount a remote volume at startup on Mac OS X

Written by stephen byron cooper Google
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How to mount a remote volume at startup on Mac OS X
Connect to remote storage across a network. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

A remote volume is disc space held on another computer that you can access over a network. The storage space appears to be an extra drive on your computer. You can mount a remote volume automatically when you log in. However, if you need that volume to manage system events before login, you need to communicate with the network system to mount the remote drive at start up and before you log in. This management system is called NFS. In Mountain Lion, you have to issue a command line instruction to set up the link to a remote file server. In earlier versions of Mac OS X you can set up the connection via Disk Utility.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


    Command line

  1. 1

    Click on “Applications,” then double-click “Utilities.” Select “Terminal” from the Utilities folder to get to the command line.

  2. 2

    Create a local directory that will be your mount point. This means that you will access the remote volume on your computer by this name. Issue the command “mkdir /Volumes/<name>” where <name> is the name you want to give your directory. Press the “Enter” key.

  3. 3

    Type “sudo nano /etc/auto_master” and press “Enter” to enter the text editor. Add the line “/Volumes/<name> auto_resources” above the line that starts with “+auto_master.” Remember to put the name of your directory instead of “<name>."

  4. 4

    Enter the nano editor with the auto_resources file by typing: “nano /etc/auto_resources” and press the “Enter” key. Insert a line: <directory> -fstype=nfs nfs://<server address>/<path>

    Substitute the name of the directory as it will appear on your computer, so you will access the remote volumes at /Volumes/<name>/directory. The server address should be in the IP address format. The <path> variable represents the path to the directory you are mounting. This should include the name of the directory to be mounted.

  5. 5

    Issue the command “sudo automount –vc” to let the automount utility reload. Your remote volume should be available and it will automatically load on startup.

    Disk Utiity

  1. 1

    Open the Disk Utility by clicking the “Applications” icon. Double-click “Utilities” in this folder, and then select “Disk Utility” from the Utilities folder.

  2. 2

    Select “File” in the Disk Utility’s menu bar. Click “NFS Mounts” from the drop-down menu.

  3. 3

    Look to the bottom left corner of the NFS Mounts window. You will see three buttons. Click the first of these, which has a plus sign (“+”) on it. This will open a dialog box to enable you to add a remote volume to mount.

  4. 4

    Enter the network address of the remote file system in the “Remote NFS URL” box. This should be in the form of an IP address of the machine, preceded by the “nfs://” protocol indicator instead of “http://.” You will also have a directory path on the server. Add this on to the end of the server’s IKP address after a slash (“/”).

  5. 5

    Give a location on your computer where the mounted remote volume will appear. This will become a path that you will use to access the directory. Create the volume under the “Volumes” directory. For example, “/Volumes/sales” would make your remote drive appear on your computer with the name “sales.”

  6. 6

    Click “Advanced Mount Parameters” and type in “resvport.” Press the “Verify” button and then press “OK.” You will be prompted for the administrator password.

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