I'm setting up permissions for a basic web server, but having some difficulty with starting the server with systemd.

In my job description, I set the user and group to "foo", as follows:


ExecStart=/home/otheruser/Website/bin/site -Dhttp.port=7000


I recursively changed the group for the Website directory to foo, and made sure to give group execution rights to the site binary. When I still had issues, I chownd the whole directory for foo. Here's what ls -la displays in the bin directory:

drwxr-xr-x 2 foo foo  4096 Sep  5 16:13 .
drwxr-xr-x 7 foo foo  4096 Sep  5 18:07 ..
-rwxr-xr-x 1 foo foo  8502 Sep  5 16:13 site

Anyhow, I'm still getting this error when trying to start my systemd job:

foo.service: Failed at step EXEC spawning /home/otheruser/Website/bin/site: Permission denied

Any ideas what could be causing this?

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    With Permission denied errors not only the traditional UGO permissions in the executable (and the complete path leading there) can be an issue, also SELinux violations are often reported as such. – HBruijn Sep 5 '16 at 19:57
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    @HBruijn We can see from his question that SELinux is disabled. – Michael Hampton Sep 5 '16 at 20:03
  • @HBruijn How can you see that? – Nathan Sep 5 '16 at 20:08
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    @Nathan: Michael is a better sharper than I am and noticed that the ls output did not show a trailing . after the UGO permissions drwxr-xr-x - GNU ls uses a . character to indicate a file with an SELinux security context, but no other alternate access method. A file with any other combination of alternate access methods is marked with a + character. – HBruijn Sep 5 '16 at 20:16

After tinkering around some more, I ended up discovering that some directories higher up in the tree (namely /home/otheruser) wasn't allowing execution by foo. While the Website directory had correct permissions, the above directories didn't, which was causing the failure.

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