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The Amd package has been without an official maintainer since 1992. Several people have stepped in to maintain it unofficially. Most notable were the `upl' (Unofficial Patch Level) releases of Amd, created by me (Erez Zadok), and available from ftp://ftp.am-utils.org/pub/amd/. The last such unofficial release was `upl102'.

Through the process of patching and aging, it was becoming more and more apparent that Amd was in much need of revitalizing. Maintaining Amd had become a difficult task. I took it upon myself to cleanup the code, so that it would be easier to port to new platforms, add new features, keep up with the many new feature requests, and deal with the never ending stream of bug reports.

I have been working on such a release of Amd on and off since January of 1996. The new suite of tools is currently named "am-utils" (AutoMounter Utilities), in line with GNU naming conventions, befitting the contents of the package. In October of 1996 I had received enough offers to help me with this task that I decided to make a mailing list for this group of people. Around the same time, Amd had become a necessary part of my PhD thesis work, resulting in more work performed on am-utils.

Am-utils version 6.0 was numbered with a major new release number to distinguish it from the last official release of Amd (5.x). Many new features have been added such as a GNU configure system, NFS Version 3, a run-time configuration file (`amd.conf'), many new ports, more scripts and programs, as well as numerous bug fixes. Another reason for the new major release number was to alert users of am-utils that user-visible interfaces may have changed. In order to make Amd work well for the next 10 years, and be easier to maintain, it was necessary to remove old or unused features, change various syntax files, etc. However, great care was taken to ensure the maximum possible backwards compatibility.

Am-utils version 6.1 has autofs support for Linux and Solaris 2.5+ as the major new feature, in addition to several other minor new features. The autofs support is completely transparent to the end-user, aside from the fact that /bin/pwd now always returns the correct amd-ified path. The administrator can easily switch between NFS and autofs mounts by changing one parameter in amd.conf. Autofs support and maintenance was developed in conjunction with Ion Badulescu.

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