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I get this error when I try creating a directory:

[rex <03:57 PM> /var/tmp/pb82]$  mkdir foo
mkdir: cannot create directory `foo': Permission denied

But doesn't the following output indicate that I should be able to create directories there since I am a member of the www-data group to which that directory belongs?

[rex <03:57 PM> /var/tmp/pb82]$  ls -l ..
total 8
drwxrwxr-x 5 root www-data 4096 Aug  7 15:32 jinfo
drwxrwxr-x 3 root www-data 4096 Aug  7 20:43 pb82
[rex <03:58 PM> /var/tmp/pb82]$  whoami
rex
[rex <03:58 PM> /var/tmp/pb82]$  groups rex
users www-data

Edit: in response to @UlrichDangel:

[rex <04:08 PM> /var/tmp/pb82/jinfo]$  id
uid=1008(rex) gid=100(users) groups=100(users)
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You probably added yourself to the www-data group and didn't relogin afterwards. To change your group membership you can use

sg www-data

to get a new shell with the appropriate permissions.

groups will return the data from the database and not your effective permissions - from man groups:

Print group memberships for each USERNAME or, if no USERNAME is specified, for the current process (which may differ if the groups database has changed).

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That fixed it, thanks! –  RexE Aug 9 '12 at 23:33

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