Fstab - choosing the correct option for remote share that may not be reachable

I have searched in this forum, the man pages, SuSE documentation, and elsewhere, but have not found a definitive answer to my question.

I have a laptop which may not always be connected to the NFS network where an fstab-listed share resides. In the past, I have had a PC fail to boot because an external drive listed in fstab was not available.

One of the fstab options mentioned is nofail. And I have seen references to others.

I would appreciate a suggestion and perhaps a link to a reliable resource identifying the option. As an aside, one unofficial reference that I have found quite helpful is from the University of Alberta:
https://sites.ualberta.ca/~clange/Linux/openSUSE/15.0/instructions/openSUSE15_install.html and a companion site: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~clange/Linux/openSUSE/15.0/instructions/openSUSE15_user.html

For NFS mounts on my laptop, I use “autofs”. That way the share is not mounted until needed, and booting does not fail. If I’m away from home, as long as I don’t attempt to actually access that share, I won’t run into any problems.

Thank you for your very prompt reply and suggestion. Given your response, I found openSuSE documentation (https://doc.opensuse.org/documentation/leap/reference/html/book.opensuse.reference/cha.autofs.html).

It appears tailor-made for my situation. Thanks again.

nrickert -

Thanks again for the advice. I’ve now implemented autofs on two machines. Since the shares are identical, I only needed to copy the auto.master and auto.[misc] files to the second platform. And I may opt for this arrangement in the other machines using fstab to mount the share.

I opted for a direct map, but I note some discussion expressing a preference for indirect maps as requiring less resources. See, e.g., http://osr507doc.xinuos.com/en/NetAdminG/autoC.direct.html.

I’m in a single-server environment, with only one share at the moment (i.e., a single map file). Would an indirect configuration provide any benefits in my case?

I don’t have enough experience to know whether that would make a difference.

Thanks. Based on my brief review of the site I mentioned above and others, I suspect it might have an impact in a large scale computing environment with multiple servers - not my situation at all. More importantly, it’s working here and working well.

The writer on another website expressed preference for autofs over fstab for network shares (as opposed to internal shares). Although I’ve become reasonably proficient in editing fstab, I can see the advantages of autofs - it’s an elegant solution to share mounts.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention - I was not previously familiar with the utility.

Good to hear.

I started using automount many years ago, on a network of Sun systems. Sun pretty much invented the whole idea.