Trying to use any snap package, I run into following issue:

$ gimp
cannot create user data directory: /local/home/user/snap/gimp/40: Read-only file system

(Gimp is just an example).

I have my $HOME in /local/home/$USER/ (I cannot change this!) and found that people have the same issue on the snap-store forum: https://forum.snapcraft.io/t/how-can-i-use-snap-when-i-dont-use-home-user/3352 and https://bugs.launchpad.net/snapcraft/+bug/1620771

In this thread, people say /home is hard-coded in snap and they suggest to use a bind-mount to solve this.

What I tried:

$ sudo mount --bind $HOME /home/$USER

ls correctly lists the content of my $HOME

$ ls /home/$USER

I also added the additional home dir to /etc/apparmor.d/tunables/home.d/my-homes:

$ cat /etc/apparmor.d/tunables/home.d/my-homes

and to /var/lib/snapd/apparmor/snap-confine/my-homes:

$ cat /var/lib/snapd/apparmor/snap-confine/my-homes
mount options=(rw rbind) @{HOMEDIRS}/ -> /tmp/snap.rootfs_*/home/,

Running the snap again with bind-mount AND as well as OR changing files, the same error occurs as before.
How can I solve this ?

$ snap list gimp
Name  Version  Rev  Tracking  Developer     Notes
gimp  2.10.0   40   stable    snapcrafters  -

$ snap --version
snap    2.32.9
snapd   2.32.9
series  16
ubuntu  16.04
kernel  4.4.0-127-generic
  • Have you tried simply creating a symbolic link? Not saying that it works for sure but it is worth a try. (i.e. ln -s /local/home/username /home/username)
    – Videonauth
    May 25, 2018 at 11:33
  • link gives the same error :-(
    – pLumo
    May 25, 2018 at 11:37
  • O.k. was worth a try, sadly i not have much snap knowledge myself since i even deactivated snapd completely on my system. If youre keen on the absolute newest version of gimp from a ppa you can try ppa.launchpad.net/otto-kesselgulasch/gimp-edge/ubuntu which is well maintained and always holds the last version of gimp.
    – Videonauth
    May 25, 2018 at 11:40
  • 1
    gimp is just the example here. The question is general, I have the same issue with all snaps. I already use that ppa, but it has 2.9 only for 16.04 ;-)
    – pLumo
    May 25, 2018 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


snapd developer here

I'm sorry that this is a problem for you, because you didn't give details about the version of snapd you are using (tip, run snap version and paste that here) or the detailed arrangement of what your real home directory is on (it sadly also matters).

I haven't personally tried this myself but you should be good enough with a bind mount like this:

sudo mount --bind /some/random/place/home/zyga /home/zyga

You can make this permanent if you add it to your /etc/fstab file. After this you must also change your home directory to really be in /home/zyga and not in the original location.

If this fails please snap install hello-world and add the output of the following commands:

SNAP_CONFINE_DEBUG=yes hello-world dmesg | grep DENIED

  • snapd is the version that is provided by the 16.04 repo (2.32.9). Unfortunately you must also change your home directory is not applicable for me as already explained in the question.
    – pLumo
    Jun 6, 2018 at 12:03
  • 1
    Filed a bug: "Unable to start snap applications if user's home directory is not /home/$USER" bugs.launchpad.net/snapd/+bug/1776800 Jun 14, 2018 at 2:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.