nfsnobody ?

Jussi Lehtola jussilehtola at
Tue Sep 8 09:29:37 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-09-08 at 04:56 -0400, Bob Goodwin wrote:
> My daughter loaded a bunch of vacation pictures [du -h shows 5.7G} on to 
> my Linux nfs server from her Mac portable via our wireless LAN last night.
> I can see that the files are there but I can't view them directly, in 
> fact I can only list directories part way through the tree and they are 
> long directory names!
> However although I can't view them as root either I can copy the files 
> to this computer and view the images with gthumb. The owner changes in 
> the copying process which appears to be what makes them accessible to me.
> I don't quite understand how this all works, I've messed with owners and 
> groups before when I observed this problem without success. I certainly 
> don't want to copy all those files to this computer just to look at a 
> few pix.

It seems the user mapping failed and thus the default guest user
'nfsnobody' was used to access the server. (r/w as guest is a possible
security issue.)

If you can't list the directories all the way down, the permissions
aren't correct. You can run
 # chmod o=rX -R /path/to/photos
to give users not in the nfsnobody group read access to the photos (and
the necessary execute permissions to the directories). To change the
ownership run
 # chown someuser: -R /path/to/photos
Jussi Lehtola
Fedora Project Contributor
jussilehtola at

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