I am working on RedHat EL 4 with NFS mounts. Sometimes I copy a directory into my home directory using the -a switch, and if the directory that I am copying is owned by another user, I can no longer delete, chmod, or chown the directory or the files beneath it. It is copying withhout changing the ownership.
I know that cp -a preserves ownership when performed as root, but my understanding is that at least the owner should be replaced when performed as a normal non-root user.
I would like to understand why this happening. I have so far been unsuccessful at replicating this behavior. The systems are not owned or controlled by me, so I can't say too much on how it is configured.
PS. I can also copy a file with ownership preserved, but by using a trick I saw online I can overwrite the file with a mv command (although rm, chown, and chmod) doesn't work.
Anyone have a clue what could cause this to occur?
I would like to convince the administrators to fix this. What could I say to convince them? Other than the annoyance of not being able to delete files?