Upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS brought with it a new version of Chromium and it also changed from a "traditional" package to a snap package (Snapplication?).

The about page shows Version 81.0.4044.122 (Official Build) snap (64-bit)

The upgrade broke my startpage, it is configured as ~/.dotfiles/startpage.html, but the new chromium tells me

Access to the file was denied
The file at file:///home/<user>/.dotfiles/startpage.html is not readable. It may have been removed, moved, or file permissions may be preventing access.

I know about snap permissions, and I checked that chromium has access to my home folder.

The problem seems to be with the fact, that .dotfiles is hidden. When I move it directly to the home folder it works.

I don't really want to do that TBH, and there's no logical reason for me why it shouldn't work in a hidden folder. A file is a file is a file...., right?

For completeness' sake, my Firefox 75 displays the file without issue.

What am I missing?


1 Answer 1


This is a problem with snap, in the name of better security.

Quoting from the post Call for testing: chromium-browser deb to snap transition:


As I can access these directories with Firefox and Chrome is this something that needs to be fixed or is it a consequence of using a snap?


This is indeed a feature of the snap confinement, it won’t let the application see files on the host system (save for a few exceptions, like $HOME). I’m aware this is mildly annoying when wanting to attach e.g. log files to a bug report. Not much can be done about it, though.

The Ask Ubuntu post Why can't Chromium suddenly access any partition except for /home? has two suggestions:

  • Using the original non-native debian package from Google:

    sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable
  • Using the following command:

    snap connect chromium:removable-media
  • This seems to be only half the answer, chromium can access my home folder, as I pointed out: I configured the startpage as file:///home/<user>/startpage.html and it works fine. Trouble starts when it is a hidden file. So neither file:///home/<user>/.startpage.html nor my original config works
    – tannerli
    Jun 9, 2020 at 11:58
  • This is probably another peculiarity of snap. Did the above advice help?
    – harrymc
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:39
  • Sadly, no: The connect command did not change this behaviour, and it seems the packages have been removed with the transition from Ubuntu 19.10 to 20.04
    – tannerli
    Jun 9, 2020 at 14:01
  • Try Chrome from Google.
    – harrymc
    Jun 9, 2020 at 14:45
  • 1
    It seems to be on purpose, or at least known behaviour, according to this forum post: forum.snapcraft.io/t/accessing-hidden-files/17180
    – tannerli
    Jun 10, 2020 at 6:37

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