It seems that there is a Linux user (on an Ubuntu 12.04.4 server) who is unable to access a shared directory, even though that user belongs to the group which owns the directory. Here is an example session:

$ whoami

$ cd /shared_directory
bash: cd: /shared_directory: Permission denied

ls /directory
ls: cannot open directory /shared_directory: Permission denied

$ ls -ld /shared_directory
drwxrws---+ 116 root groupname 4096 Jun 11 11:35 /shared_directory

$ getent group groupname

sudo adduser username groupname
The user `username' is already a member of `groupname'

It also appears to be the case that this user is the only group member to be experiencing this permissions issue.

  • Is the user the owner of the files? The "owner" access is all set to deny!
    – austinian
    Jul 15, 2015 at 16:54
  • 1
    No, the user is not the owner of the directory; the directory is owned by root. And I don't think that the "owner" access is set to deny; "others" is set to deny.
    – igal
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:42
  • You, sir, are completely right. I don't know what I was thinking when I made that comment.
    – austinian
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:44
  • What filesystem is being used?
    – austinian
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:44
  • No worries. I'm sure I'll feel that way about my post by this time tomorrow.
    – igal
    Jul 15, 2015 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


I know this issue was 10 months ago but I would just like to post that I had a very similar issue recently.

I added a user to a group and the user still had no access to the folder. The solution was simply to log off from the user and then log in again.

Based on your answer in the chat


I'd venture a guess that you solved the problem not directly by recreating the user account but more likely because as a result of deleting the user account you had to login again and hence updating the user's "current groups".

  • Thanks for the comment. I can't be certain, but as I recall I logged in and out repeatedly while diagnosing the problem. Also, this user was already a member of the group in question - I didn't add them. Of course this was awhile ago and you may be right.
    – igal
    May 28, 2016 at 17:08
  • I see. Yeh no worries.. Perhaps the issues aren't exactly the same. The post may be useful for others diagnosing similar issues.
    – Ruben
    May 29, 2016 at 22:06

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