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I'm sharing between iMacs with Samba. Both computers are running macOS Catalina (10.15.3). To get full disk sharing to work, I opened Settings > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access and added smbd.

I can mount a Samba share from one iMac on the other and see the full drive. Everything seems to be working except for this very strange behavior: the Desktop, Documents, and Downloads folders (inside my user folder) all show zero bytes, zero items, and appear empty when opened.

None of those folders are actually empty. I can login with VNC and see the items in them fine. The permissions appear fine (my user has read/write access). All the other folders (inside and outside my user folder) show their normal contents.

What is causing these specific folders to appear empty and how can I fix it?

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I double-checked the permissions (they were fine) and then restarted both client and server, and now everything is behaving normally. So maybe it just needed a restart?

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