Usually I'm avoiding snap-based applications, but sometime I need them.

For example - Markdown Lint Tool is shipped only as Snap named mdl.

It works great when files are in home folder -

$ echo "# header" > ~/test.md
$ /snap/bin/mdl ~/test.md ; echo $?

but it fails when file is located in /tmp directory:

$ echo "# header" > /tmp/test.md
$ cat /tmp/test.md
# header
$ /snap/bin/mdl /tmp/test.md
/snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/lib/mdl/doc.rb:57:in `read': No such file or directory @ rb_sysopen - /tmp/test.md (Errno::ENOENT)
    from /snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/lib/mdl/doc.rb:57:in `new_from_file'
    from /snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/lib/mdl.rb:75:in `block in run'
    from /snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/lib/mdl.rb:73:in `each'
    from /snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/lib/mdl.rb:73:in `run'
    from /snap/mdl/140/lib/ruby/gems/2.4.0/gems/mdl-0.9.0/bin/mdl:10:in `<top (required)>'
    from /snap/mdl/140/bin/mdl:23:in `load'
    from /snap/mdl/140/bin/mdl:23:in `<main>'

For this particular application there are no options for snap connect:

$ snap connections | grep mdl
home                      mdl:home                             :home                                 -

Also I can't install it as classic:

$ snap install mdl --classic 
Warning: flag --classic ignored for strictly confined snap mdl

mdl 0.9.0 from Snapcrafters installed

What should I do to give Snap application full access to the /tmp folder?
Does it happen by Snap design or not?

  • 1
    There was a long discussion about this awhile ago: askubuntu.com/questions/1033344/…. It doesn't sound promising. Aug 1, 2020 at 19:35
  • I checked snap by using terminal and "snap find mdl" did not return a classic version as being offered. That is one thing. Another, (this copied and pasted from GitHub)Markdownlint is written in ruby and is distributed as a rubygem. As long as you have a relatively up to date ruby on your system, markdownlint will be simple to install and use. You have 2 options to install it: To install from rubygems, run: gem install mdl Aug 3, 2020 at 18:27
  • Thanks @ThomasByers , but let's get snap problem solved. I know about Ruby and Gem. IMHO the problem has wider audience in terms of affected applications.
    – N0rbert
    Aug 3, 2020 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


It seems you may be looking for the "proper" way to solve the issue caused with snaps...

but if you were looking for a workaround so you can use your tmp directory, you could:

mkdir /home/you/tmp
sudo mount --bind /tmp /home/you/tmp/

mdl will have full access to the /tmp directory via the /home/you/tmp mountpoint:

echo "# header" > /home/you/tmp/test.md
mdl /home/you/tmp/test.md

To make it permanent you can add this line to the /etc/fstab:

 # <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
/tmp        /home/you/tmp   auto    bind    0   3

and rebuild the initrd with sudo update-initramfs -u -k all .

  • It really works, a bit hacky.
    – N0rbert
    Aug 3, 2020 at 20:46
  • @N0rbert yeah I was thinking you may feel that way... I haven't been able to come up with anything else with the cross partition deal and snaps... Like you, I just try to avoid them.
    – WU-TANG
    Aug 3, 2020 at 20:49
  • I have added the suggested line to fstab, so for now it is permanent. Thank you. Bounty will follow :)
    – N0rbert
    Aug 3, 2020 at 21:00
  • 2
    @mlissner... this isn't about /tmp... it's about any directory other than /home/username and snaps... It's also not a fix, it is a workaround to work with snaps in the method that the OP desired... you're not reading the question
    – WU-TANG
    Jan 8, 2022 at 0:23
  • 3
    you clearly are not reading the question. you aren't even reading the answer. hell, you didn't even read my comment. Someone else can spend their time reiterating, after this... it has NOTHING to do with /tmp... it is SNAPS + ANY OTHER DIRECTORY outside of the user's home directory... So no, /tmp is not "broken", that is a ridiculous thing to say. If that was the case, then every other (non-home) directory in which the user has r/w privileges, is also broken... I think most people understand that /tmp is not the problem, perhaps that's why "nobody seems to care"
    – WU-TANG
    Jan 8, 2022 at 1:37

I'm usually very supportive of change and of Ubuntu, but if, like me, you find this really annoying, the fix I came up with is to add a directory to my home:

mkdir /home/mlissner/tmp

And to add a crontab to nuke it on reboot:

sudo crontab -e

Then add:

@reboot rm -rf /home/mlissner/tmp/*

Having to do this is really dumb.

I'm all for sandboxing and security. I'm all for change, but this removes an important use case of "Save this file here, and then delete it later without me thinking about it."

It's also really buggy from a user perspective. You can save something from Firefox into /tmp, no errors. But then when you try to find that thing in the file browser, it doesn't exist. WTF.

Count me very annoyed.

  • In the end, this is what I did. Everything was way too annoying.
    – mlissner
    Feb 8, 2022 at 0:03
  • 3
    In latest ubuntu version (at least 22.04) the apt package install the snap version
    – KumZ
    May 26, 2022 at 15:17
  • outstanding solution. tks!
    – armor
    Sep 9, 2022 at 13:08

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