NFSv4 does not allow executing files without read permissions

Solution Unverified - Updated -


  • When attempting to create a new database (IBM DB2) instance on an NFSv4 volume, it fails. Examination of this has determined this is failing because it is unable to execute any files located on the NFSv4 volume without the read bit set as well.
  • The Ubuntu forums have cited a similar issue due to a kernel bug that was later resolved.
  • Take any binary executable file and give it execute permissions only, no read permissions. If this executable is on an NFSv4 mount and you try to execute the file, you will get permission denied. However, if you attempt to execute the same file with the same permissions on a local filesystem or NFSv3 mount, it will run as expected. It is primarily executable binaries that are affected.
  • It is possible to make the executable run properly as the root user, but as DB2 does not run as root, it is required to make it function as expected from a standard user.


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
    • kernels before 2.6.32-431.el6
  • NFSv4
  • Applications like DB2 with files on NFS that only have the executable bit set
  • Seen on EMC VNX NFS server or RHEL6 NFS Server

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