I've got an account on a shared Linux host, with a home directory at /home/jstrout. My web files are served via a directory called /home/strout/strout.net .

Now I my wife wants to add some content in a subdirectory on my web site. I added her as a user to my account, which created a new login for her, with a home directory at /home/mmstrout on the same machine.

Now I want to give her a subdirectory under strout.net that she can write to, and I've been stymied at every turn. I don't have sufficient privileges to chown anything to her, so I've (temporarily) set 777 permissions on the directory:

drwxrwxrwx 23 jstrout pg42801 4096 Nov 20 12:33 strout.net

Yet from her account, I still can't cd into this directory, nor mkdir a subdirectory within it:

$ pwd
$ mkdir /home/jstrout/strout.net/mstrout
mkdir: cannot create directory ‘/home/jstrout/strout.net/mstrout’: Permission denied
$ cd /home/jstrout/strout.net
-bash: cd: /home/jstrout/strout.net: Permission denied

What could be causing this, and how do I work around it? Could it have something to do with ACLs (which still seem like arcane magic to me)?

  • 3
    What is the output of ls -ld /home /home/jstrout ? Nov 20, 2017 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


It's possible that the /home directories have 700 permissions rather than 755 permissions. This would mean that no user could traverse down the tree and back up to another user's /home

  • Entirely plausible for a shared host
    – roaima
    Nov 20, 2017 at 22:17

You most likely need to change the permissions on one directory level higher to give her access to your home directory.

Can you execute chgrp? If so create a group you are both in and chngrp owner to your shared group. Make sure to add both of you to the group.


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