I have a folder under the /etc directory. This folder and files contained in it has to be accessed by every user beloning to myGroup group. I correctly set permissions: every file in this directory gives me, after

ls -l

my file owner myGroup

this goes for every subfolder (I manually set this for each file/folder).

Anyway, if I type

cat /etc/myFolder/example.txt

It tells me that I don't have anough permissions. I think this is due to the fact that /etc folder belongs to the root. But I don't want to change group to the /etc folder too! And I need that folder to stay there!

How to solve this problem?

edit: output of

ls -ld /etc/myFolder/ /etc/myFolder/example.txt

gives me

drwxr-xr-x 2 root myGroup 4096 feb 26 12:10 /etc/myFolder/

-r-------- 1 root myGroup 1204 feb 26 12:10 /etc/myFolder/example.txt

  • Please add the output of ls -ld /etc/myFolder/ /etc/myFolder/example.txt to your question. Feb 26, 2014 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


Try :

sudo chown owner:group /etc/myFolder/ -R 

change owner to your user and the group belong to it

sudo chmod 775 /etc/myFolder/ -R

This shold give owner and group rwx permissions.

Note : you can change the permission as it fits your needs .

  • Thanks you really helped me! Anyway I just needed r/w so my code is 664 (4 is just read for other users). If I do so I can't cd to that folder anymore, while with 774 I could...any ideas?
    – Phate
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:27
  • welcome man we are here to help each others , happy to help you and dont forget to mark it as an answer if it helped you ;)
    – nux
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:28
  • if you can solve me this last problem I'll mark yours as answer for sure :)
    – Phate
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:29
  • try to change the owner from root to your user , why u want root to own it
    – nux
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:29
  • i think your user is not in the group , and act as others
    – nux
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:31

The ownership is right. The problem is with the permissions. You have to give read, write, and or execute permissions to those subfolders.

I suggest you use:

chmod -R 640 /etc/myFolder

So your user will have read/write acces, and the users in your group will have read access.

  • great...after this command even cd /etc/myFolder gives me insufficient permissions...and my user is member of the group...
    – Phate
    Feb 26, 2014 at 14:10
  • Maybe try 760, with your normal user, not root. Feb 26, 2014 at 22:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .