I created a Dockerfile which creates a new user. When I run this Dockerfile I see that the user is created, his homedir is created as well, but the homedir is owned by root - and even "chown" can't change it.

What's wrong here? What should I do to make the homedir be owned by the user?

This is my Dockerfile:

FROM debian

RUN echo "START"
RUN whoami
RUN groupadd -g 1023 bolek
RUN useradd -u 1023 -m -g bolek -s /bin/bash bolek
RUN ls -ld /home/bolek
RUN chown bolek:bolek /home/bolek
RUN ls -ld /home/bolek

And this is the result of running it:

$ docker build .
Sending build context to Docker daemon  2.048kB
Step 1/8 : FROM debian
 ---> 278727474c29
Step 2/8 : RUN echo "START"
 ---> Running in ea2ef07f8cf7
Removing intermediate container ea2ef07f8cf7
 ---> 380cf07ef790
Step 3/8 : RUN whoami
 ---> Running in 310b27eb1667
Removing intermediate container 310b27eb1667
 ---> f2d3e944ba74
Step 4/8 : RUN groupadd -g 1023 bolek
 ---> Running in 7a6ed0dfa95f
Removing intermediate container 7a6ed0dfa95f
 ---> 00edbb567c42
Step 5/8 : RUN useradd -u 1023 -m -g bolek -s /bin/bash bolek
 ---> Running in 29df766891ca
Removing intermediate container 29df766891ca
 ---> a16b10eb3ed7
Step 6/8 : RUN ls -ld /home/bolek
 ---> Running in c13578f95134
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 13 05:42 /home/bolek
Removing intermediate container c13578f95134
 ---> 69dbc583fd7a
Step 7/8 : RUN chown bolek:bolek /home/bolek
 ---> Running in a0cd64572d84
Removing intermediate container a0cd64572d84
 ---> c3d50f8cdf97
Step 8/8 : RUN ls -ld /home/bolek
 ---> Running in 1cd57cf5f75b
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4096 Aug 13 05:42 /home/bolek
Removing intermediate container 1cd57cf5f75b
 ---> ceb5c78c2786
Successfully built ceb5c78c2786

I noticed that the problem happens only on some computers - on other ones the very same Dockerfile behaves correctly.

I could reproduce the problem on Linux Mint 20.3, where docker version is 20.10.25 (build 20.10.25-0ubuntu1~20.04.1) and docker's server version is also 20.10.25.

1 Answer 1


Try this, instead (have not tested this):

FROM debian

RUN echo "START" \
&& whoami \
&& groupadd -g 1023 bolek \
&& useradd -u 1023 -m -g bolek -s /bin/bash bolek \
&& ls -ld /home/bolek \
&& chown bolek:bolek /home/bolek \
&& ls -ld /home/bolek

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