I'm working on a test server, on my computer. Where I have installed Ubuntu server, as a VM in virtual-box.

Version 5.2.8.r121009


  • Ubuntu 17.10 4.13.0-21-generic
  • Docker version 18.04.0-ce, build 3d479c0

I have created two Shared folders.

root@docker:/var/lib/docker# ls /media/ -l
totalt 4
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root   4096 mai    8 23:15 cdrom
drwxrwx--- 1 root vboxsf    0 mai    8 23:46 sf_docker-compose
drwxrwx--- 1 root vboxsf    0 mai    9 00:17 sf_docker-volumes 

When I do

service docker stop && \
rm -fr /var/lib/docker/volumes && \
ln -s /media/sf_docker-volumes /var/lib/docker/volumes && \
service docker restart && \
docker ps

I get the following error

Cannot connect to the Docker daemon at unix:///var/run/docker.sock. 
Is the docker daemon running?

So i revert back, to the defaults:

service docker stop && \
rm -fr /var/lib/docker/volumes && \
service docker restart && \
docker ps

And everything is working again.

So my questions is, how can i fix the permissions issues i get from using a symlink for the /var/lib/docker/volumes/ folder. Im sure that the issue is that the group owner of the symlink is vboxsf and not root. but i cant seem to manage to change that .


To change the ownership of your symbolic link try the following command and see if it fixes your problem. A sudo might be needed.

 chown -H myuser:mygroup mysymbolic
  • I have tried this also, its does not resolve the issue. – BD Bear May 13 '18 at 14:17

After a lot of trail and error, i have found out that what i'm trying to do. is not possible. at-least not in a direct way. The file system, that virtual-box use for it shared folders, is read only for the system, but for users its read-write. (why i haven't figured out.)

What i want is a seamless experience, where i don't have to manually copy and paste the files, but that for the life of me I cant figure out how to do.

The only thing close to a working solution, are to edit my fstab file, and add the mount there.

docker /docker    vboxsf  defaults,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=0022   0       0

then create ascript that does this for me

rm -fr /docker/* && \
mkdir /tmp/docker && \
cp -r /var/lib/docker/volumes/* /tmp/docker &&\
sudo chown -H bdbear:bdbear /tmp/docker && \
mv /tmp/docker/* /docker

This does half of the job for me, so its okey. but an automatic solution would be so much more easier.

Perhaps i will implement Inotify-tools to make this fully automatic, But for now i have just scraped the whole idea of working on this small project. I tried using Rsync but it gives me a protocol error, related to read-only file-system.

  • its worth mention that i tried docker /docker vboxsf defaults,uid=0,gid=0,umask=0022 0 0 during my time of troubleshooting, but it was not giving me a working solution. – BD Bear May 13 '18 at 17:35

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