How can I use snap when I don't use /home/$USER?


I attempted to work around this issue as suggested with a bind mount line in /etc/fstab linking /home/user to a directory on a separate ext4 partition that is itself mounted at /mnt/files:

Here are lines from fstab:

UUID=465bfd74-ce84-4fbe-9af4-8b2d88768352 /mnt/files ext4 defaults
/mnt/files/bionic/home/user /home/user none bind

I discovered that this stops Gnome trash from being able to move any files to trash in directories on /mnt/files (Ubuntu 18.04). It will present a dialog saying the file cannot be put in the rubbish bin, and instead must be deleted immediately.

Testing with gio shows why:

gio trash /mnt/files/testfile
gio: file:///mnt/files/testfile: Unable to delete file /mnt/files/testfile across filesystem boundaries

Any ideas on how to fix?


@zyga, with all the recent changes for snap-confine and snap-update-ns, can you think of a path forward for this long-standing issue? It would be great if an admin could say something like “I have user directories in /home, /foo and /mnt/bar”. AppArmor supports this fine; we just need to not hardcode snap-confine. Thoughts?


Any update on plans to resolve this?


I’ve been transitioning from Windows to Linux for years. I was really excited to learn about Snap. It sounds like a great solution to make programs more universally available. I installed it today so that I could try one of my favourite Windows editors on Linux; Notepad-plus-plus.

Imagine my disappointment when it didn’t work! Due to some issues with my motherboard not being able to boot from my big Samsung 1TB SSD, I’ve got a little bitty 128gb SSD where I installed Linux Mint. I use Dropbox to store/backup all my programs and media files. It’s huge and it wants to keep the local folder in my home folder. No space for that! no problem, I moved home to /mnt/SSD1TB/home/jgold.

It seems that snap needs the home directory to be in /home/jgold before it will work. This means that Snap doesn’t work for me at all. The solution according to this thread is to make sure your home directory is \home\jgold.

No can do!

I understand that this is a bug and it will be fixed. There are limited resources and you’re volunteers. (I appreciate all the time put into this by the way, It looks like a GREAT idea!). I’m hoping to move the priority to fix this up a little.

There are two reasons I think this should have a higher priority;

  1. Requiring the home directory to be in a specific place is very un-linuxy. It’s looks like someone missed something really basic. It makes Snap look bad.
  2. When someone runs into this issue, they’re basically unable to use Snap at all without making some difficult changes to their system. This is especially difficult for new users or old ignorant users such as myself.

To summarize: I really like the idea of Snap. I’d like to use it. I can’t without a whole lot of extra work that I really don’t want to do. Fixing this issue will make Snap work and look better.



Not with that attitude you can’t! :smiley:

Technically you likely can have /home/jgold just fine, and have it mounting some space on /mnt/SSD1TB but you chose to actually change the path to your home as well as the storage location? I appreciate that it is indeed still somewhat of an oversight / bug that we still rely on $HOME being /home/$USER but in your particular case it is actually possible to do what you’ve done and still comply with the requirements for snaps.


You are correct. Or you guys could just fix it so that it works correctly so that new users don’t have to waste a bunch of time figuring out why it doesn’t work when everything else on their system works fine. I wonder which option would be better? :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply.


Hello. I maintain I fairly large network of Linux machines here at University of Helsinki. I have here more than a thousand users, of whom have multiple different networks shared home directories, which are chosen on login time. Some times the home directory is a also a local home directory instead of a network share. It is really up to the users to decide and not to me. The solution so far has to be to make /home/luser a symlink to where the real home is and this has been fine since symlinks were invented (after all, this is the reason they were invented). And the users need to do their jobs and shouldn’t need to care about paltry problems like this. Now, there is now software which isn’t available on deb packages anymore (heroku) and the only way this is fixable by next week is that I package heroku myself. I need to get this done by this week, so tweaking a University wide system is out of the question. This shouldn’t be something on a wishlist, this is a major showstopper.


Oops. It turns out that heroku has a perfectly adequate deb repository. Its location is just hidden inside a shell script. So, no need to build anything myself and no need make snap work for just this software. Sorry about the rant, but snaps still won’t work in this environment.


This problem is evident when using snap installed lxd on a jenkins box since jenkins home is /var/lib/jenkins by default.

As a workaround for those hitting this with Jenkins, setting JENKINS_HOME to /home/jenkins and adding an entry in fstab to mount /var/lib/jenkins to /home/jenkins did the trick.