Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Fixing Permission Denied Error for Snap Applications on NFS Mounts

Ubuntu 10

In the world of Linux, encountering errors is a common occurrence. One such error is the “Permission Denied” error when running Snap applications on NFS mounts. This article will provide an in-depth guide on how to troubleshoot and fix this issue.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Permission Denied" error for Snap applications on NFS mounts, you can try running the application in classic mode using the --classic flag when installing the Snap package. If the issue persists, you can modify AppArmor’s HOMEDIRS variable to include your non-standard home directory. If none of these solutions work, consider filing a bug report with detailed information about the issue.

Understanding the Issue

Before we delve into the solution, it’s important to understand the problem. This issue typically arises when you are running Snap applications on Ubuntu 17.04 or later versions, where your home directory is mounted on an NFS mount point that does not allow root-write. This is not an unusual configuration, but it can cause problems with Snap applications.

Checking the Scope of the Issue

The first step in troubleshooting is to determine whether the issue is specific to a particular Snap application or if it occurs with all Snap applications. Try running other Snap applications to see if you encounter the same error. This will help narrow down the problem and guide the next steps.

Running Snap Applications in Classic Mode

If the issue is specific to a particular Snap application, one solution is to run it in classic mode. Classic mode gives Snap applications more access to the system, allowing them to bypass some of the confinement restrictions.

To install a Snap application in classic mode, use the following command:

sudo snap install --classic <snap-package-name>

Here, <snap-package-name> should be replaced with the name of the Snap package you want to install. The --classic flag allows the application to run in classic mode.

Modifying AppArmor’s HOMEDIRS Variable

If the issue persists with all Snap applications, another solution is to add your non-standard home directory to AppArmor’s HOMEDIRS variable. This can be done by running the following command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure apparmor

Alternatively, you can create a file in /etc/apparmor.d/tunables/home.d/ that points to your home directory’s mount point. For example:


After making these changes, delete AppArmor’s cache and reboot the system:

sudo rm -f /etc/apparmor.d/cache/* /var/cache/apparmor/snap.*
sudo reboot

The rm -f command removes files, with -f standing for ‘force’. This means it will not prompt for confirmation before deleting each file. The reboot command simply reboots the system.

Filing a Bug Report

If none of the above solutions work, you may need to file a bug report. Provide detailed information about your configuration, the steps to reproduce the issue, and any error messages you encounter. The bug report can be filed on the relevant project’s bug tracker or on the Ubuntu bug tracker.

Please note that the bug report may be marked as invalid if it is determined that the issue is related to your specific configuration rather than a bug in the software.


In summary, troubleshooting the “Permission Denied” error for Snap applications on NFS mounts involves checking the scope of the issue, running Snap applications in classic mode, modifying AppArmor’s HOMEDIRS variable, and possibly filing a bug report. We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your issue. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

What is a Snap application?

A Snap application is a software package format that provides an easy and secure way to distribute applications on Linux. Snap applications are self-contained and bundled with all their dependencies, making them easy to install and manage.

How can I check if I am running Ubuntu 17.04 or a later version?

You can check your Ubuntu version by opening a terminal and running the command lsb_release -a. This will display detailed information about your Ubuntu distribution, including the release version.

Can I run Snap applications in classic mode on any Ubuntu version?

No, running Snap applications in classic mode is only supported on Ubuntu 17.04 or later versions. Earlier versions do not have the necessary infrastructure to support classic mode.

Will running Snap applications in classic mode compromise the security of my system?

Running Snap applications in classic mode may increase the application’s access to the system, potentially bypassing some of the confinement restrictions. This can introduce some security risks, so it’s important to only run applications in classic mode if it’s necessary and you trust the source of the application.

What is AppArmor?

AppArmor is a Linux security module that provides mandatory access control for programs. It restricts the capabilities of programs based on a set of rules, ensuring that they can only access the resources they are authorized to use.

How do I create a bug report on the Ubuntu bug tracker?

To create a bug report on the Ubuntu bug tracker, you can go to the Ubuntu bug tracker website and follow the instructions provided. Provide as much detail as possible about the issue, including your system configuration, steps to reproduce the problem, and any error messages you encounter.

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