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


I see. Figured it was more complicated right after replying.

Just an idea: why not mounting the home area at its original place inside the container? I understand that it may clash with another directory already present on image, but you could deal with these cases, instead of trying a universal solution. I fully understand that an elegant, “all cases” solution is the way to go, but implementing some kind of “pre check” for clashes before launching the snap would suffice for most cases, don’t? If somebody places its home in a completely awkward path, they would’ve problems much earlier than launching snaps.

Anyway, thanks for you time. Will keep an eye on this, see if it is eventually solved.


We cannot easily create new directories inside the runtime environment. The runtime is the base snap designated by the snap developer or, as a fallback, the core snap.

The core snap has the /home and the /root directory so we can easily bind mount those. It doesn’t have the “arbitrary value stored in gecos (/etc/passwd)


I think the idea with mounting arbitrary HOME of a specific user to /var/home/LOGNAME is workable but it is complex and has some UX consequences. Another question is how to introduce that without breaking users. Perhaps only for values of HOME outside of /home or /root


That’s why I suggested mounting it at its original place. I made some experiments some time ago, using Docker to do exactly this: launch applications. I’ve solved some of these problems by using a custom entrypoint, that would make some adjustments (in this case, creating the custom home dir, if doable, e.g.), and then calling an standard exec script, that would launch the real application. Just another idea…


FWIW, if the embargo on snapd using overlayfs was lifted, you could easily do a mount in the rootfs wherever you wanted

/drops mic


Original place is a directory. It must exists to be mounted. I’m not sure if we are talking past each other without understanding the point each person is trying to make.

As an example. Let’s say my system has an user with HOME set to /nas/user

As that user I wish to continue using that location. Moreover I wish to to use pathnames referring to files in my home directory when interacting with snap apps.

The problem is that from an app point of view /nas does not exist. The root filesystem is an immutable, read only core snap. To mount /nas/user as /nas/user inside the “container” I need to create /nas and then /nas/user but I cannot since EROFS.


I got that. Didn’t realize the root fs was R/O. If that’s the case, then no way.


There are some ways but we cannot use them at this time. Eventually we might be able to use the overlay filesystem but at present it needs more work in the kernel to work with confinement properly.