If I were to cross off an imaginary list of things that most modern desktops “do,” automounting would be about the only thing left that I haven’t really conquered. Other things like international keyboards, switching languages and even mimicking a decade-old desktop layout are all old hat. But automounting I just don’t bother with.
Part of that is personal; I am not the kind of person who wants to stick a USB drive into a machine and see an icon pop up on the desktop. Just in principle that seems to cross over the line between my sense of control and allowing the computer to decide what is best for itself. Never send a machine to do a human’s work.
Setting it up was very easy, with only a couple of configuration files to manage, and no real challenge when using something like Arch. (I left out kernel support for autofs when I built the kernels on my Crux systems, so I didn’t bother with those. 🙄 ) In fact, I am afraid I don’t have anything to add to what you see on the Arch wiki, in terms of how to configure it. Start to finish, the information there worked perfectly for me.
For the most part. USB flash drives, SD cards and CDROMs all worked without a hitch, being accessible within seconds of insertion. On the other hand, hard drives in USB enclosures — which make up the majority of what I use for external storage — seemed to be ignored. I am not sure what the difference is that would make a 2Gb flash drive “detectable,” and a 4Gb hard drive in a USB casing “undetectable,” but for my own purposes that was a bit of a deal-breaker.
And I didn’t add my nfs servers to autofs, preferring to keep them as manual mount points. So in that direction, I don’t have any guidance. But if you want a method of automounting that doesn’t require an entire desktop environment to prop it up, it might serve as a solution.
As far as making an icon pop up on your desktop though … you’re on your own for that. 🙂
P.S.: Score one more point for the Arch Wiki, which is still simply the best place to go when you need information. …