I want to run a shell script on my "bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu-Edition" phone in the Terminal App and created a shell script in /home/phablet/Documents/sync.sh

# sync contacts and calendar with OwnCloud
syncevolution owncloud calendar-defaultcalendar
syncevolution --sync slow owncloud contacts
exit 0

The script is executable but returns:

bash: ./sync.sh: /bin/sh: bad interpreter : Permission denied

I'm not sure what interpreter runs on Ubuntu-touch (bash, sh, ??) and I'm also not sure what rights the default user has.

So what's wrong or missing?


Looks like a bug in the ubuntu-terminal-app.

The bug description mentions a workaround:

It seems to work when I use bash ./testscript.

The ./ is optional

  • +1. Do you need the ./ ? – Tim May 4 '15 at 13:03
  • @Tim, as far as I understand the rules, no. It doesn't make lookup in PATH when you give filenames to any command (bash, cat, vi, whatever...). – Velkan May 4 '15 at 13:06

Whatever it is (a bug or a weird configuration):


does not work on Ubuntu-touch. The workaround is:

bash yourscript.sh

After some (preliminary) testing, it appears to me that this is not a bug with the ubuntu-terminal-app, but is instead to do with not being allowed to launch executable files from within the home directory. That's why bash /path/to/file worked, but /path/to/file didn't, because bash resides in /bin.

I have tried running a bash script, a python script, and a hello-world g++ compiled c++ program, all with the executable bit set, and none will run when in a subdirectory of /home. None will run, whilst scripts and applications in other subdirectories of root run fine.

Unfortunately, I am yet to find a solution: there is nothing in /etc/fstab to suggest /home is mounted as noexec:

/userdata/user-data /home none bind 0 0

I have even tried remounting it explicitly as exec using mount -o remount,rw,exec /home to no avail. Will update if I find a solution.

So far the only workaround is to use an interpreter to run scripts (Bash/Python etc.) or /lib/ld-linux-armhf.so.3 /path/to/file for binary applications.

Minor update: A slightly more elegant workaround is to move the script/application to another directory, such as /opt, and then symlink to it. That way you can run it just by /path/to/symlink. For example, you could do:

sudo mv /path/to/SCRIPT.sh /opt
ln -s /opt/SCRIPT.sh /path/to

Then you could just type /path/to/SCRIPT.sh to run it.


Found out the problem is to do with the apparmor security profile for the terminal app. See my question and answer here: Ubuntu touch – executable files won't launch in /home directory

  • Thanks a million was wondering why I couldn't get node running ... – ShaneQful Apr 24 '16 at 16:40

Try changing the shabang line to


rather than


This will default the interpreter to bash, rather than sh. That should be simpler.

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