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pCloud is a cloud storage service that allows Linux users to mount their cloud storage inside of their home directory, appearing as:

/home/username/pCloudDrive/

As far as I can tell, the pCloudDrive directory is only accessible by the user and not by root.

Running ls -l inside the home directory (as root) displays:

d????????? ? ?    ?       ?            ? pCloudDrive

and in pcmanfm (as root), pCloudDrive is described as "inode/x-corrupted type".

From my experience with Linux, root should be able to access everything, because every other file and directory belongs to it.

What I would like to know is:

  • How is pCloudDrive's true nature being occluded?
  • Is there a way to access the pCloudDrive directory and contents as root?
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I have no direct experience with it, but it looks like pCloud is mounted as a FUSE file system. A FUSE file system is not accessible by root by design. The aim is to prevent mounted file systems from doing nasty things (see an explanation in libfuse's FAQ).

To let root, or other users, access a FUSE file system, you have to mount it with the options -o allow_root or -o allow_others. You need also to uncomment/add user_allow_other in /etc/fuse.conf, otherwise your user will not be able to set the aforementioned options.

Your experience may be the same of many other users, puzzled by an apparently non-intuitive behavior. See, as an example, this question on serverfault.

Of course, since pCloud appears not to be open source, there might actually be no allowed nor easy ways to change how it mounts its volume.

Obviously, root can access a FUSE file system given that it can impersonate other users. For instance:

# sudo -u your_user ls /home/your_user/fuse_mount_point

(executed as root) should just work.

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