HFS+ and APFS Permissions for SMB Filesharing.

There’s a problem I encountered with Mac-based filesharing over SMB where HFS+ and APFS formatted disks would behave differently from each other when mounted remotely.

While HFS+ disks worked as expected, APFS disks would have issues with write permissions – everything would look correct, but creating folders would result in folders that couldn’t be written to, or renamed.

All the disks had the same permissions and setting on the file server – all had:

  • (Machine Admin user): Read & Write
  • staff: Read & Write
  • everyone: read only

And they were set to “Ignore Ownership”.

That ownership issue appears to be the problem – I had to enable ownership for the APFS volumes, and then add a dedicated filesharing user to the file server, add that user with read & write permissions to the APFS drives, and then apply permissions to the enclosed items.

Once that was done, it all worked as expected.