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HLFSD(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		      HLFSD(8)

     hlfsd — home-link file system daemon

     hlfsd [-fhnpvC] [-a alt_dir] [-c cache-interval] [-g group]
	   [-i reload-interval] [-l logfile] [-o mount-options]
	   [-x log-options] [-D debug-options] [-P password-file]
	   [linkname [subdir]]

     The hlfsd utility is a daemon which implements a file system containing a
     symbolic link to subdirectory within a user's home directory, depending
     on the user which accessed that link.  It was primarily designed to redi‐
     rect incoming mail to users' home directories, so that it can read from

     The hlfsd utility operates by mounting itself as an NFS server for the
     directory containing linkname, which defaults to /hlfs/home.  Lookups
     within that directory are handled by hlfsd, which uses the password map
     to determine how to resolve the lookup.  The directory will be created if
     it does not already exist.	 The symbolic link will be to the accessing
     user's home directory, with subdir appended to it.	 If not specified,
     subdir defaults to .hlfsdir.  This directory will also be created if it
     does not already exist.

     A SIGTERM sent to hlfsd will cause it to shutdown.	 A SIGHUP will flush
     the internal caches, and reload the password map.	It will also close and
     reopen the log file, to enable the original log file to be removed or
     rotated.  A SIGUSR1 will cause it to dump its internal table of user IDs
     and home directories to the file /usr/tmp/hlfsd.dump.XXXXXX.

     -a alt_dir
	     Alternate directory.  The name of the directory to which the sym‐
	     bolic link returned by hlfsd will point, if it cannot access the
	     home directory of the user.  This defaults to /var/hlfs.  This
	     directory will be created if it does not exist.  It is expected
	     that either users will read these files, or the system adminis‐
	     trators will run a script to resend this “lost mail” to its

     -c cache-interval
	     Caching interval.	The hlfsd utility will cache the validity of
	     home directories for this interval, in seconds.  Entries which
	     have been verified within the last cache-interval seconds will
	     not be verified again, since the operation could be expensive,
	     and the entries are most likely still valid.  After the interval
	     has expired, hlfsd will re-verify the validity of the user's home
	     directory, and reset the cache time-counter.  The default value
	     for cache-interval is 300 seconds (5 minutes).

     -f	     Force fast startup.  This option tells hlfsd to skip startup-time
	     consistency checks such as existence of mount directory, alter‐
	     nate spool directory, symlink to be hidden under the mount direc‐
	     tory, their permissions and validity.

     -g group
	     Set the special group HLFS_GID to group.  Programs such as
	     comsat(8), (which access the mailboxes of other users) must be
	     setgid HLFS_GID to work properly.	The default group is “hlfs”.
	     If no group is provided, and there is no group “hlfs”, this fea‐
	     ture is disabled.

     -h	     Help.  Print a brief help message, and exit.

     -i reload-interval
	     Map-reloading interval.  Each reload-interval seconds, hlfsd will
	     reload the password map.  The hlfsd utility needs the password
	     map for the UIDs and home directory pathnames.  The hlfsd utility
	     schedules a SIGALRM to reload the password maps.  A SIGHUP sent
	     to hlfsd will force it to reload the maps immediately.  The
	     default value for reload-interval is 900 seconds (15 minutes).

     -l logfile
	     Specify a log file to which hlfsd will record events.  If logfile
	     is the string “syslog” then the log messages will be sent to the
	     system log daemon by syslog(3), using the LOG_DAEMON facility.
	     This is also the default.

     -n	     No verify.	 The hlfsd utility will not verify the validity of the
	     symbolic link it will be returning, or that the user's home
	     directory contains sufficient disk-space for spooling.  This can
	     speed up hlfsd at the cost of possibly returning symbolic links
	     to home directories which are not currently accessible or are
	     full.  By default, hlfsd validates the symbolic-link in the back‐
	     ground.  The -n option overrides the meaning of the -c option,
	     since no caching is necessary.

     -o mount-options
	     Mount options.  Mount options which hlfsd will use to mount
	     itself on top of dirname.	By default, mount-options is set to
	     “ro”.  If the system supports symbolic-link caching, default
	     options are set to “ro,nocache”.

     -p	     Print PID.	 Outputs the process ID of hlfsd to standard output
	     where it can be saved into a file.

     -v	     Version.  Displays version information to standard error.

     -x log-options
	     Specify run-time logging options.	The options are a comma sepa‐
	     rated list chosen from: fatal, error, user, warn, info, map,
	     stats, all.

     -C	     Force hlfsd to run on systems that cannot turn off the NFS
	     attribute-cache.  Use of this option on those systems is discour‐
	     aged, as it may result in loss or mis-delivery of mail.  The
	     option is ignored on systems that can turn off the attribute-

     -D log-options
	     Select from a variety of debugging options.  Prefixing an option
	     with the string “no” reverses the effect of that option.  Options
	     are cumulative.  The most useful option is “all”.	Since this
	     option is only used for debugging other options are not docu‐
	     mented here.  A fuller description is available in the program
	     source.  A SIGUSR1 sent to hlfsd will cause it to dump its inter‐
	     nal password map to the file /usr/tmp/hlfsd.dump.XXXXXX.

     -P password-file
	     Read the user-name, user-id, and home directory information from
	     the file password-file.  Normally, hlfsd will use getpwent(3) to
	     read the password database.  This option allows you to override
	     the default database, and is useful if you want to map users'
	     mail files to a directory other than their home directory.	 Only
	     the username, uid, and home-directory fields of the file
	     password-file are read and checked.  All other fields are
	     ignored.  The file password-file must otherwise be compliant with
	     UNIX System 7 colon-delimited format passwd(5).

     /hlfs	directory under which hlfsd mounts itself and manages the sym‐
		bolic link home.

     .hlfsdir	default sub-directory in the user's home directory, to which
		the home symbolic link returned by hlfsd points.

     /var/hlfs	directory to which home symbolic link returned by hlfsd points
		if it is unable to verify the that user's home directory is

     mail(1), getgrent(3), getpwent(3), mtab(5), passwd(5), amd(8), cron(8),
     mount(8), sendmail(8), umount(8)

     "HLFSD: Delivering Email to Your $HOME", Proc. LISA-VII, The 7th Usenix
     System Administration Conference, November 1993.

     “am-utils” info(1) entry.

     Erez Zadok, Linux NFS and Automounter Administration, Sybex, 2001, ISBN


     The hlfsd utility appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

     Erez Zadok ⟨ezk@cs.sunysb.edu⟩, Computer Science Department, Stony Brook
     University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.

     Alexander Dupuy ⟨dupuy@smarts.com⟩, System Management ARTS, White Plains,
     New York, USA.

     Other authors and contributors to am-utils are listed in the AUTHORS file
     distributed with am-utils.

BSD				January 2, 2006				   BSD

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