I have 2 XFS partitions I want to mount via /etc/fstab:

/dev/sdb1        /media/data        xfs        defaults        0        2
/dev/sdc1        /media/backup      xfs        defaults        0        2

Both are mounted at boot but when I try to access it as a non-root user, I get

$ cd /media/data
-bash: cd: /media/data: Permission denied

$ ls /media/data
ls: cannot access /media/data/audio: Permission denied
ls: cannot access /media/data/documents: Permission denied
ls: cannot access /media/data/downloads: Permission denied
ls: cannot access /media/data/images: Permission denied
ls: cannot access /media/data/video: Permission denied
audio documents downloads images video

Note that from the ls command there is a Permission denied error but the last line shows the directory names although they are in red font. I have tried doing sudo chmod 766 /media/data and sudo chmod 766 /media/backup but I still get permission errors when trying to access said mount points as a non-root user.

I am using Fedora 20 and I am not sure if this has something to do with SELinux but in my previous setup with a partition of NTFS, I don't get these errors and the partition was accessible by non-root users.

2 Answers 2


766 doesn't allow the user to enter the directory because the "x" (execute) bit is not set. Better:

sudo chmod 755 /media
sudo chmod 755 /media/data
sudo chmod 755 /media/backup
  • chmod 755 does make the user enter the directory but doesn't allow writing. So I guess I'd have to go with chmod 777 as it seems to work. Question is, are there any security implications by doing this?
    – baktin
    Feb 3, 2014 at 4:23
  • Well, yes there are security implications...but the only alternative is to give each user their own directory. As an aside, I don't like using /media/ for manual (/etc/fstab) mounts because Gnome's automount thingy likes mounting things there.
    – samiam
    Feb 3, 2014 at 4:26
  • 2
    If you're on a single user system then chown /media/data and /media/backup so that your user owns these directories.
    – bsd
    Feb 3, 2014 at 10:30

I have currently resolved this by:

  1. Creating a new group and add my user to the new group
  2. chgrp the mounts /media/data and /media/backup to created group
  3. chmod 775 to both mounts

I can now access said mount points as my user and any user added to the new group I've created.

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