I do not have such an experience. For me, there is no need to restart autofs to make it aware of the new automount key. But I am using
indirect maps only.
You need to send SIGHUP to the deamon to force rereading of a map. When
I was working on the autofs/sssd integration effort, we spoke briefly
with Ian about possibilities of better ways to reread a map, but nothing
has surfaced yet.
It depends, exactly. Be especially cautious when updating automount package. Yum usually restarts the daemon as the last step - and
sometimes it happens that the daemon crashes with a core dump instead of exiting normally. It that happens, all user shells lose information
about the current working directory which can cause funny behaviour.
Third question: is it safe to restart the autofs service when people have
mounted shares on a client?
The short answer is yes, long answer is it depends :-)
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