„Remember in Mac OS 9 how easy it was to mount a server automatically on startup? All you had to do was check that little box in the dialog asking you which volumes you wanted to mount. This check box isn’t available in Mac OS X, and placing an alias to servers in your login items isn’t exactly the solution either. Mac OS X does provide, however, a method to mount server volumes on startup that comes from the Unix/NetInfo roots of Mac OS X. This feature is called the „automount daemon“.
In the past, configuring automount would have involved editing some text files in the invisible depths of the System. Mac OS X provides a database that stores many of these configurations, though, making the management of these configurations much easier. This database is the NetInfo database, and can be edited with the NetInfo Manager application in your Utilities folder. Note that the NetInfo DB also contains user account information and other information that is important to making your computer run correctly. Editing this database can have negative consequences, and is not supported by Apple, so you will be performing these tasks at your own risk. That said, as long as you follow these instructions closely, it is very unlikely that you will cause irreversible harm to your system. You can backup your NetInfo database in the NetInfo Manager by selecting „Save Backup“ from the „Management“ menu.
In a typical NetInfo deployment environment, there is a master NetInfo parent that maintains directory information that is shared with all the client machines. For example, if your computer was „bound“ to a NetInfo parent machine, your computer would be able to use that machine’s NetInfo DB. In such a setup, it would only be necessary to modify automount settings on one machine; every machine that was bound to this NetInfo server would automatically take advantage of the new settings. Mac OS X Server is setup this way; creating automatically mounted sharepoints is as easy as checking a couple of checkboxes and configuring the clients to bind to the NetInfo server. Setting up a Mac OS X Server is beyond the scope of this article, though. Here, I will describe how to setup a standalone client to mount any server’s sharepoints automatically on startup.“