I had a user john in fedora 19

usergroup marygroup
useradd -g marygroup mary
usermod -a -G marygroup john

In John terminal:

cd /home/mary

Permission denied

cd /home

ls -l
drwx------. 11 john john
drwx------. 11 mary marygroup
logged into as root
chmod 770 /home/mary
ls -l
drwx------. 11 john john
drwxrwx---. 11 mary marygroup

still cannot do cd Permission denied why?

1 Answer 1


By executing chmod 770 /home/mary all you did was set Read-Write-Execute permission for the Owner User and Owner Group of /home/mary folder (which is mary and marygroup).

If you want to access mary's home as john, you need to add user john to group marygroup:

$ gpasswd -a john marygroup`

For this to take effect, you will have to relogin as user john.

  • Thanks,Then why the following command will not solve the problem. usermod -a -G marygroup john. Upto my knoweledge it is also adding to the supplementary groups.What is the difference between the 2 commands.
    – Curious
    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:53
  • You need to relog with user john for new groups to take effect.
    – ek9
    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:58

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