I have a script that copies a file from our server to the local machine. Here is the script and output

+ date
Thu Jun 11 09:16:00 ACST 2020
+ id -un
+ pwd
/Volumes/Macintosh HD/backups
+ mkdir /Volumes/Server_auto
+ /sbin/mount_smbfs smb://User:password@Server/General  /Volumes/Server_auto
+ ls /Volumes
Macintosh HD
+ ls /Volumes/Server_auto
ls: Server_auto: Operation not permitted

Ultimately I want to

cp -f /Volumes/Server_auto/Backups/Web/db_6_1500.zip ./db.zip

but I think if I can at least get a directory listing, the copy will probably work.

I can sudo this script from the terminal and it runs without a hitch. It has been running for several years from cron without a hitch, it's only after updating to Catalina that the problems have started.

I have tried

  • adding cron, ls and mount_smbfs to the Full Disk Access list
  • moving the job to a plist file in the LaunchDaemons folder

Everything works just fine except for the copy operation. Behaviour is identical under cron or plist/launchd.

This is clearly a SIP issue. Before I added cron to the Privacy 'Full Disk Access' list, I was getting the same error message when the cron job started.
Now, it's entirely blocking the external SMB share, but I don't know why or what permission to grant to make it work. The exact same sequence of operations, when run manually as root, succeed every time.

Any ideas?

  • The copy reads from the share and writes to the current directoy. When running from cron, what directory is this and does root have write permissions there? – nohillside Jun 10 '20 at 8:05
  • as mentioned, the destination (current) folder is world-writable. See recent comments - even ls is failing. I'm beginning to suspect it's a mount issue, but I can't see why it would work in one context but not the other. – Ben McIntyre Jun 10 '20 at 8:06

I had the same problem and it was fixed by granting »Full disk access« to Terminal in System preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy and restarting Terminal.

Click the lock at the bottom left of the window in case the options are greyed out.

  • Thanks, but I tried this long ago. I am now suspecting that this is an issue with the particular machine, perhaps with the SIP or BIOS settings. I have also had issues with other programs not working correctly. I even reinstalled OSX (for the first time ever), but it didn't help. – Ben McIntyre Jul 19 '20 at 5:09
  • Hmmm. So, reset PRAM and SMC, and disabled SIP. Still no change. – Ben McIntyre Jul 31 '20 at 13:45

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