I have a backup server in my LAN which mounts the home dir of user@laptop and creates a backup each hour using a python script.

The problem that I'm having is that I get some hundred "permission denied" errors from rsync. Some files won't copy if I start the backup as root, others won't copy if I start it as user.

The first thought that came to my mind was to set group ownership of home from user to root recursively. But I'm not sure if I should really do that..

Does anyone know how to proceed with this?

Some info about the setup:

uid and gid numbers are identical for user and root on both computers.

This is how I import/export home:

Export with: /etc/exports,sync,no_subtree_check,root_squash)

Mount with: /etc/auto.user

  • use no_root_squash option
    – Ijaz Ahmad
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 12:09
  • the option ro means "read-only". I would suggest you change your mount option from ro to rw (read/write) when you're performing the backup.
    – Centimane
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


Your export line says,sync,no_subtree_check,root_squash)

The root_squash entry means "when remote user root tries to access the file, pretend the user is nobody instead. This means the remote root user has no privileged access at all.

Instead change root_squash to no_root_squash. ie,sync,no_subtree_check,no_root_squash)

Now the remote root user will have root level read access to the files.

  • It works perfectly with this fix. Thanks! :)
    – Rotareti
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 7:17

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