SUMMARY: What is up with /home

From: Alexander Frost <>
Date: Thu Jun 12 2003 - 15:25:28 EDT
Thank you to the huge amount of people who replied (40+) .. I appreciate
all the responses...

Here is the response from Casper Dik which explains it in official FAQ
format... again though, I appreciated everyone response, there was a lot
of information to be had in all of them...

The solaris FAQ says:

3.4) Why can't I write in/mount over /home?

    SunOS 5.x is delivered with the "automounter" enabled. The
    automounter is designed for NFS sites, to simplify maintenance of
    the list of filesystems that need mounting. However it is a burden
    for standalone sites.

    The automounter takes over /home and in effect becomes the NFS
    server for it, so it no longer behaves like a normal directory.
    This is normally a Good Thing as it simplifies administration if
    everybody's home directory is /home/<username>, regardless of their
    physical location.

    If you want to continue to use the automounter, edit
    and comment out the line starting with "/home".  Then run the
    "automount" command which will cause automountd to reload the maps.

    To kill it off for standalone or small networks running Solaris 2.3
    or later, you can stop automountd by running "/etc/init.d/autofs
    stop".  Prevent it from starting at boot time by renaming the file
    /etc/rc2.d/SXXautofs to /etc/rc2.d/sXXautofs, where XX are two
    digits depending on the OS release. (If you change your mind, just
    rename it back)

    In Solaris 2.2, the procedure is different.  You need to comment
    out the three lines in /etc/init.d/nfs.client that start "if" (from
    the if to the fi!!), and reboot (Solaris 2.2)

    To learn about it, read the O'Reilly book "Managing NFS and
    NIS", or ftp the white paper 'The Art of Automounting".  from in the directory /pub/sun-info/white-papers.

    --- end of excerpt from the FAQ

The most recently posted version of the FAQ is available from


-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander Frost
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2003 1:37 PM
Subject: What is up with /home

This question has been bugging me for a while now, I just finally
remembered to ask this time.

On multiple machines with fresh installs of 7, 8 and 9 in which the
entire OS is installed under one slice, so everything is on one
partition (/) I find this problem......

Now when I do an "ls" after install I notice a directory called /home

The permissions on this directory are dr-xr-xr-x so its not writeable..
so I go and chmod 755 /home and if tells me "chmod: WARNING: can't
change home" yet I am root. I cannot make a directory in /home and I
cannot delete /home YET everytime I do "useradd joe" it makes Joe's home
directory /home/joe .... Why would this be.. if you cannot do anything
to /home why make a users home dir point to a place in /home that can
never exist?

So what is the point of /home and why can't I delete it or use it.

Thank you, I would appreciate any light on this issue.

sunmanagers mailing list
Received on Thu Jun 12 15:28:57 2003

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