I must be missing something. I created a service account that will run a script I created as a cron job. The script links files to be processed to a watched folder. The script worked fine running as root, but I thought it was best to use a service account and have the cron job run hourly under that account. Now I'm running into permissions issues when I try to create files/folders as the service account.

[root@analysis ~]# ls -l /watched/robert.sicko/

total 24  
drwxrwx--- 20 srvArcherNBS srvArcherNBS 20480 May  8 11:35 XXX  
drwxrwx---  2 srvArcherNBS srvArcherNBS  4096 May  4 11:04 test

[root@analysis ~]# su -c "touch /watched/robert.sicko/test/abc.completed" srvArcherNBS

touch: cannot touch `/watched/robert.sicko/test/abc.completed': Permission denied

Other info. The server runs CentOS release 6.10. watched, robert.sicko and test directories already existed, I changed ownership of /watched/robert.sicko/* to the service account with:

chown -R srvArcherNBS:srvArcherNBS /watched/robert.sicko/*

the /watched dir isn't owned by srvArcherNBS, but changing the group of /watched and /watched/robert.sicko to srvArcherNBS didn't change anything

[root@analysis watched]# ls -l
total 4
drwxrwx--- 4 apache archer_daemon_web_access 4096 May  4 11:04 robert.sicko

edit to add result of ls /watched/robert.sicko/test/abc.completed:

[root@analysis /]# ls -l /watched/robert.sicko/test/abc.completed
ls: cannot access /watched/robert.sicko/test/acb.completed: No such file or directory

edit2 to add to the weirdness - running ls with su as srvArcherNBS gets permission denied but if I su srvArcherNBS, I can then ls.

[root@analysis robert.sicko]# pwd
[root@analysis robert.sicko]# su -c "ls -la /var/www/analysis/watched/robert.sicko" srvArcherNBS
ls: cannot access /var/www/analysis/watched/robert.sicko: Permission denied
[root@analysis robert.sicko]# su srvArcherNBS
[srvArcherNBS@analysis robert.sicko]$ ls -la
total 32
drwxrwx---  4 apache       srvArcherNBS  4096 May  4 11:04 .
drwxrwx---  3 apache       srvArcherNBS  4096 Mar 27  2019 ..
drwxrwx--- 22 srvArcherNBS srvArcherNBS 20480 May  8 15:10 XXX
drwxrwx---  2 srvArcherNBS srvArcherNBS  4096 May  4 11:04 test
[srvArcherNBS@analysis robert.sicko]$

output of mount

[root@analysis robert.sicko]# mount
/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root on / type ext4 (rw)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext4 (rw)
/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_home on /home type ext4 (rw)
none on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw)
//prd/agtcnbs on /mnt/agtcnbs type cifs (rw             )
  • Please add ls -l /watched/robert.sicko/test/abc.completed and its result to your question
    – roaima
    May 8, 2020 at 17:58
  • What kind of filesystem is /watched? May 8, 2020 at 18:41
  • looks like it's ext4 May 8, 2020 at 19:04
  • Are you sure that you're not using NFS or something? What does mount say? May 11, 2020 at 18:53
  • I added the output of mount May 11, 2020 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


I ended up solving this by changing permissions on the directories in the tree:


I have to give others r+x permissions on var www etc. even though I had group permission set to rwx for the directory I was trying to write in. I don't fully understand it, but it still seems safer than having my cron job run as root.

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