Mac OS X Finder Deleting Files on a Linux Share (Solved)

Last week I connected to my Linux desktop from my Mac laptop, and Finder wouldn’t let me copy files over to the Linux box. Even stranger, it would delete the original file on the share after stating that it didn’t have permission to access it!

The error message it kept popping up was:

The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to access some of the items.

So it didn’t have permission to access or save the items, but it had permission to delete them? Clearly the error message wasn’t telling the whole story!

Even stranger: if I opened a file with an application like TextWrangler or NeoOffice, they had no problem saving it! It was only Finder that had the problem!

Now, I’ve successfully transferred files back and forth between these computers many times before, but I had changed two things recently:

  • Upgraded the Linux box to Fedora 13.
  • Installed the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update to Snow Leopard.

I didn’t have much luck searching online, maybe because I was looking for the wrong terms. The closest I came up with were discussions like this one, but they all involved a server using netatalk or other AFP file sharing implementations. I’ve been using samba (Windows-Style SMB shares) on the Linux box ever since I had some problems with Netatalk and decided that since the Mac would connect via Samba, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I idly posted the problem on Twitter. My brother replied that he’d run into the same problem (on Ubuntu, IIRC), and suggested turning off Unix extensions in Samba. That meant opening up /etc/samba/smb.conf on the Linux box and adding the following line to the “Filesystem Options” section:

unix extensions = no

I restarted Samba on the Linux box, and that was it. The Mac was able to copy files over without any errors!

I hope this post helps someone else solve the same problem.

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