Accessing symbolic links through Samba results in access denied error.

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6


  • When attempting to access a symbolic link through a Samba share accessing the link will fail with an access denied error observed on the client.


  • Set the following parameter in /etc/samba/smb.conf under the global settings.

If using libsmbclient-3.0.33-3.37.el5 or newer:

follow symlinks = yes
unix extensions = no
wide links = yes

If using an older version of libsmbclient:

follow symlinks = yes
  • Next, restart the samba services to put the changes into effect:
# /etc/init.d/samba restart

Root Cause

  • Newer versions of Samba require a modification to the Samba configuration file to allow symbolic links. This change and option was introduced to patch a security vulnerability which allowed users to access the machine via symbolic links.
follow symlinks (S)

This parameter allows the Samba administrator to stop smbd(8) from following 
symbolic links in a particular share. Setting this parameter to no prevents 
any file or directory that is a symbolic link from being followed (the user 
will get an error). This option is very useful to stop users from adding a 
symbolic link to /etc/passwd in their home directory for instance. However 
it will slow filename lookups down slightly.

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