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The following commands

$ git co -b newbranch
$ git co oldbranch

result in "fatal: cannot exec 'git-co': Permission denied" error.

In the same time,

$ git checkout -b newbranch
$ git checkout oldbranch


$ sudo git co -b newbranch
$ sudo git co oldbranch

work as expected. Ownership rights for the .git folder are set for the user owning the home folder and 0755/0644 are the mode for .git folder/subfolder/files.

Aliases are defined in .gitconfig of the home folder:

co = checkout

There is no difference in git config -l output for root or unprivileged user.

What am I missing?

Gentoo 3.0.6 / git

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The issue is resolved, see

Before git runs the aliases it checks the $PATH. In case the directory does not exist, or lacks permissions, git produces the "fatal: cannot exec 'git-co': Permission denied".

Good people from the git mailing list also reminded me of a tool, that strace can help finding the entry that is returning EACCES, as in: strace -f -e execve git foobar

The credit goes to Jeff King from the git mailing list. :)

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