I'm trying to setup a samba server to share data among clients via cifs. As a test, I mounted the samba share on the same machine and tried to access the contents of the directory. The mount command was:

mount -t cifs -o username=sthomaso,workgroup=WORKGROUP //server/scratch /mnt/server/scratch

...which worked fine after entering the password. Although I can cd /mnt/server/scratch, when I try to list the contents of the directory with ls, I get error ls: reading directory .: Permission denied.

On the server, my /etc/samba/smb.conf is:

    security = user
    workgroup = WORKGROUP

    writeable = yes

    path = /var/scratch
    valid users = @feausers
    writeable = yes

User "sthomaso" was added to tdbsam with command:

pdbedit -a -u sthomaso

User "sthomaso" is in group "feausers", verified with the "groups sthomaso" command.

/bin/ls -lF /var | grep scratch shows:

drwxrwx--T. 2 root feausers 4096 Jun 14 14:40 scratch/

/var/log/samba/log.smbd contains validation of a successful connection in line:

<snip> smbd/service.c:1070(make_connection_snum)
<snip> connect to service scratch initially as user sthomaso (uid=500, gid=501) (pid 99999)

So it looks like I am successfully mounting the share, but why can't I read the directory and access the files?

  • Forgot to mention...this is RHEL 6.1
    – scott8035
    Jun 15, 2011 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


FYI, I got some help from Red Hat...the problem was SELinux restricting permissions. I don't need the control offered by SELinux, so I just disabled it by editing /etc/selinux/config and restarting.


The more appropriate answer to this issue is stated at the top of the /etc/samba/smb.conf.example file:

Use the samba_export_all_ro or samba_export_all_rw Boolean to share system directories.  To share such directories and only allow read-only permissions:
setsebool -P samba_export_all_ro on
To share such directories and allow read and write permissions:  
setsebool -P samba_export_all_rw on

Also if you look at the setroubleshoot log generated by auditd it gives you several suggestions on how to potentially fix your issue with a relative confidence level from 1-100.

To view these logs and suggestions run:sealert -a /var/log/audit/audit.log

In short, to fix this issue run the command:setsebool -P samba_export_all_rw on

Then restart the service.


Additionally ensure you apply the appropriate selinux context to your samba share directory by using the following command:

semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t "/PATH_TO_SHARE(/.*)?"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .