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I had overly permissive directory permissions (777) on my home dir, and just changed these to 755:

# cd
# pwd
# ls -ld .
drwxr-xr-x    9 myuserid  mygroupid         4096 Oct 17 11:44 .

That should be sufficient to create files in my home directory, but is not on this machine:

# ls -l x
ls: 0653-341 The file x does not exist.
# touch x
touch: 0652-046 Cannot create x.

Note that I am logged in as myself:

# id
uid=9175(myuserid) gid=7777(mygroupid) groups=200(othergroupid)

I can modify existing files:

# cat h
# echo blah >> h
# cat h

so I know the filesystem isn't mounted read-only.

This is on AIX, and acledit $HOME shows:

* ACL_type   AIXC
base permissions
    owner(myuserid):  rwx
    group(mygroupid):  r-x
    others:  r-x
extended permissions

Which also appears to indicate that I'd be able to create (these acls look the same as those on my HOME dir on a "well behaved machine").

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This is on AIX, right? Does acledit /home/machinename/myuserid show anything interesting? – Alan Shutko Oct 17 '12 at 16:36
Sounds like an Access Control List problem to me. I suggest checking ACLs as well. (How to check/set ACLs varies by *nix flavor.) – HairOfTheDog Oct 17 '12 at 16:58
ACLs look okay to me. Updated question with acledit output on ~/. – Peeter Joot Oct 17 '12 at 17:08
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Our sysadmins suspected filesystem corruption, but fsck didn't flag any issues. They ended up recreating my home directory and deleting and recreating my userid with the same uid and group memberships.

Permissions and acls on the new home directory and the "new" userid appears identical, however, things are now working in the expected fashion.

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