Home directories outside of '/home'

The snap daemon (snapd) requires a user’s home directory ($HOME) to be located under /home on the local filesystem. This requirement cannot currently be changed.

However, it is possible to bind mount an alternative $HOME location to /home to allow other locations to be found by snapd. This process is outlined below.

:information_source: A bind mount allows a mounted filesystem to be accessible from more than one location at the filesystem level. This is unlike a hard or symbolic link, for instance, which operate as special additional files that point to a destination.

Bind mount home directories

There are two steps to bind mount a home directory to a different location:

  1. the bind mount: create the mount point and run the mount command:
    $ sudo mkdir -p /home/$USER
    $ sudo mount --bind <original-home-location> /home/$USER
  2. edit /etc/passwd: backup passwd and edit the home location for your user:
    $ cp /etc/passwd passwd.backup
    $ # sudo edit /etc/passwd with your favourite editor
    $ cat /etc/passwd | grep $USER
    The following awk command can be used to edit /etc/passwd (change OLD_HOME to your old home directory):
    $ awk -vold=$"OLD_HOME" -vnew=$"/home" -F: ' BEGIN {OFS = ":"} \
      {sub(old,new,$6);print}' /etc/passwd > passwd.new
    $ sudo cp passwd.new /etc/passwd

Log out and back in again, and snap will work from the freshly mounted home location. If you run into difficulties, copy the backup passwd file to /etc/passwd.

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