We are using Macs in an educational environment and because of serving more students, than we have workstations available, we bought a couple of MBPs to compensate it. This implies a bunch of issues one of the minor ones is the following issue.

To allow users to use there managed accounts. I'd like to give a try to OS X's mobile users. A first test run brought up the issue, that automatic network mounts are verbosely unavailable. Technically, this is no problem, but the verbosity is an issue in usability. The users might be irritated by an error message because of the failed auto mount. But on the other side, they need their icon on the desktop to access the share.


  • Server: OS X 10.8.5, Server.app (2.2.5)
  • Clients: MBP, with OS X 10.10.4, network access via wired and wireless (if plugged in, wire is preferred to wifi)


  • Is it possible to mount a network share lazily (i.e. providing the icon on the desktop and attempt to mount it, if it is needed/accessed)?


  • Is it at least possible to fail silently?

Any hints are appreciated, but out of the box solutions are preferred to hacking via scripts.

2 Answers 2


autofs and automount

Consider using autofs directly to handle the lazy mounting and unmounting of network drives. The automount manual page explains more.

Apple published Autofs: Automatically Mounting Network File Shares in Mac OS X to help administrators set autofs up.

autofs has the benefit of being silent to the user and connects on-demand, instead of at login.

I published setup-autofs to help a customer set up an autofs based connection between their Mac and a Windows shared drive. Once set up, the autofs approach has been resilient.

  • 1
    This looks promising. I'll evaluate it tomorrow and will accept the solution, if it works. Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:54

In order to automate the network mounting of a specific volume on your system, you will need to follow the procedure bellow:

  1. Mount the desired Network drive on your system
  2. Open System Preferences
  3. Navigate to Users & Groups
  4. [optional]Unlock the session by the 'lock' button on the bottom left corner
  5. Click on the Login Items tab
  6. Click the "+" button, select the desired volume and press the "Add" button.
  • This is done by the network account management. Thus, there is no gain, unfortunately. Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:56

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