Thanks for the ping on this lnog standing bug @Tronde.
I updated the state accordingly.

If there is a change to be identified since Xenial->Bionic one could try to SRU 
fix it in Xenial.
But I took a (quick) look and found nothing obvious.
There are major changes like going from sysV init in /etc/init.d/autofs to a 
native systemd service in /lib/systemd/system/autofs.service.
One would need to debug if there is something that can be brought into the 
systemV init to fix it.

I appreciate your former steps to reproduce, but they failed for me :-/
Without having more time debugging why I can't reproduce atm I'd need to ask 
you (or others) to debug what the missing new bit might be to fix up xenial.

** Also affects: autofs (Ubuntu Xenial)
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

** Also affects: upstart (Ubuntu Xenial)
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

** Also affects: autofs5 (Ubuntu Xenial)
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

** Changed in: autofs (Ubuntu)
       Status: Confirmed => Fix Released

** No longer affects: autofs5 (Ubuntu Xenial)

** No longer affects: upstart (Ubuntu Xenial)

** Changed in: autofs (Ubuntu Xenial)
       Status: New => Incomplete

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You received this bug notification because you are a member of Ubuntu
Touch seeded packages, which is subscribed to upstart in Ubuntu.
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/40189

Title:
  [SRU] [xenial] autofs needs to be restarted to pick up some shares

Status in autofs package in Ubuntu:
  Fix Released
Status in autofs5 package in Ubuntu:
  Invalid
Status in upstart package in Ubuntu:
  Invalid
Status in autofs source package in Xenial:
  Incomplete

Bug description:
  I am using autofs to access shares on a Windows XP machine from a
  Kubuntu AMD64 machine.  The problems applies in both Breezy and
  Dapper.

  EDIT:  confirmed with similar configuration on Intrepid with a NetApp
  filer hosting NFS.  Server OS removed from summary.

  When I first try to access the mount point via cd or in Konqueror it
  does not exist.  However,  if I then restart autofs
  (/etc/init.d/autofs restart) everythin then works OK.  My config files
  are:

  auto.master

  #
  # $Id: auto.master,v 1.3 2003/09/29 08:22:35 raven Exp $
  #
  # Sample auto.master file
  # This is an automounter map and it has the following format
  # key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
  # For details of the format look at autofs(5).
  #/misc        /etc/auto.misc --timeout=60
  #/misc        /etc/auto.misc
  #/net /etc/auto.net

  /petunia /etc/petunia.misc --timeout=60

  
  petunia.misc

  #
  # $Id: auto.misc,v 1.2 2003/09/29 08:22:35 raven Exp $
  #
  # This is an automounter map and it has the following format
  # key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
  # Details may be found in the autofs(5) manpage

  cd              -fstype=iso9660,ro,nosuid,nodev :/dev/cdrom

  tony  -fstype=smbfs,defaults,password=xxx,fmask=777,dmask=777 
://192.168.1.2/tony
  chris -fstype=smbfs,defaults,password=xxx,fmask=777,dmask=777 
://192.168.1.2/chris
  shared        -fstype=smbfs,defaults,password=xxx,fmask=777,dmask=777 
://192.168.1.2/SharedDocs
  linuxbackups  -fstype=smbfs,defaults,password=xxx,fmask=777,dmask=777 
://192.168.1.2/linuxbackups

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