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Introduction to Autofs in Mac OS X | Low End Mac
And I thought I was supposed to be seeing something in /home for *local* users--like a compatibility 'shim' for where the usual Unix home folders are stored--but nope. It's for network users who have logged in with an account that was authenticated via directory services.
Notice the /home entry is set to auto_home, and because it is not a full path, it is assumed to be /etc/auto_home. It is an example of an indirect map. The mount point in the local directory is defined, but the remote mounts are defined in the /etc/auto_home map file. Network users who login to the local machine will have their home directories mounted in /home according to the details in /etc/auto_home.

Here is the default /etc/auto_home file:

# Automounter map for /home
+auto_home # Use directory service
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january 2014 by kme
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