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-   -   'Could not chdir to home directory /home/[user]: Permission denied' (

arashi256 01-07-2010 04:52 AM


Originally Posted by devnull10 (Post 3816657)
You could try creating a new home directory when logged in as root for the user jon. The following command will modify the user to have the home directory /home/jon_home (it will be created if it doesn't already exist). The -m flag will copy the contents of your existing home into the new directory.


usermod -d /home/jon_home -m

I ran: -


usermod -d /home/jon_home -m jon
but when logging in as "jon", I still get the same error: -


login as: jon
jon@[machine]'s password:
Last login: Thu Jan  7 10:49:57 2010 from [Some IP]
Could not chdir to home directory /home/jon_home: Permission denied
[jon@joshua11 /]$

Have I done this right?

arashi256 01-07-2010 05:49 AM

Gah, fixed it by shunting everything to another directory, deleting the user and recreating it and shunting everything back. It's fixed it, but I'd prefer to know why it happened in the first place...thanks anyway everyone for all your help.

cardy 01-07-2010 05:53 AM

This could be selinux related, there is a quick way to check by switching selinux into permissive mode rather than enforcing.

if you edit the file



# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
# enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
# permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
# disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
# SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
# targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
# mls - Multi Level Security protection.
# SETLOCALDEFS= Check local definition changes
You should have a similar setup to above. If the SELINUX= entry is set to enforcing then selinux is enabled.
If you change this to SELINUX=permissive save the file and reboot the machine then selinux will change to warning you about policy issues rather than enforcing the security.

Assuming after the reboot you can login without error then you can further diagnose the correct permissions that should be applied on the /home directory.

If you still receive the errors even with selinux in permissive mode then its unlikely to be an selinux issue. You can easily change back to your default setting after performing the test by switching back to enforcing in the same file and again rebooting.



arashi256 01-07-2010 05:55 AM

Thanks, I'll look into that. I'm thinking more and more that this was an SELinux issue - it was/is certainly enabled on both machines.

cardy 01-07-2010 05:57 AM

Just out of interest what permissions are now shown when you run the commands

ls --context /home
ls --context /home/jon



arashi256 01-07-2010 06:02 AM


Originally Posted by cardy (Post 3817406)
Just out of interest what permissions are now shown when you run the commands

ls --context /home
ls --context /home/jon



Hi Lee,

Sure thing...


[root@joshua11 ~]# ls --context /home
drwx------. jon    jon    unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_dir_t:s0 jon
drwx------. root  root  system_u:object_r:file_t:s0      lost+found
[root@joshua11 ~]#



[root@joshua11 ~]# ls --context /home/jon
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Backup
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Documents
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Downloads
drwxr-xr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Music
drwxr-xr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Pictures
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:file_t:s0  Platforms
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 Programs
drwxr-xr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 RHCT
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_t:s0 SCJP
drwxrwxr-x. jon jon unconfined_u:object_r:file_t:s0  Torrent-Files
[root@joshua11 ~]#

Looks the same to me, but if you want to make an educated guess, go for it :)

billcheng 06-20-2010 11:59 PM

I just want to mention that I have *exactly* the same problem!

My usual setup is that I have a system partition and a user partition. Every time I upgrade, I just reformat the system partition and install the new system on it. Then I do "groupadd" and "user add" to add myself to the system with the home directory set to my directory in the user partition.

I've been using Fedora and this procedure worked till FC8. The next system reinstall I tried after FC8 was FC11 and that's when I started to see this problem and I went back to FC8.

Last week, my machine died. Luckily, my harddrive was fine and I have another machine that I can use. So, I move my harddrive from the dead machine to the other machine and installed FC13. I see exactly the same problem again! When I logged in, I get the error message and my current working directory is set to / and my login scripts in my user partition are not executed.

Then I started googling this problem and found this thread. I just tried setting SELINUX=permissive and rebooted my machine and, Voila, everything is working! Thanks so much!
Bill Cheng

ASangodkar 07-26-2010 05:34 AM

I have also faced the same problem using Fedora 13. I have shared the home directory from an NFS server for all the users in a cluster. Whenever I use SSH to login to a node, it is successful but changing to home directory of the user fails. But when I type cd, it changes to the user's home directory.


[root@garl-amd1 ~]# ssh akshay@garl-amd5
akshay@garl-amd5's password:
Last login: Mon Jul 26 02:02:38 2010 from garl-amd1
Could not chdir to home directory /home/akshay/: Permission denied
[akshay@garl-amd5 /]$ cd
[akshay@garl-amd5 akshay]$

As suggested by cardy, I tried switching selinux into permissive mode and it worked. How do I get rid of this problem without changing selinux mode?


ASangodkar 07-27-2010 02:02 AM

I have fixed it! It was an SELinux problem. I got an alert from the SELinux troubleshooter after I switched SELinux to permissive mode. It suggested that I should use the command

$setsebool -P use_nfs_home_dirs=1

But, I used the SELinux GUI instead. I guess other related problems can be fixed by configuring SELinux properly.

marcoecc 08-26-2010 06:21 AM


Originally Posted by ongte (Post 3816926)
Very odd looking problem you have there. Could it be a SELinux context issue?
Try looking at the output of these:
# ls --context /home
# ls --context /home/jon

If not SELinux, it could also be an ACL issue. Try:
# getfacl /home

I had the same problem. On one of my hosts I kept receiving this error:
Could not chdir to home directory /home/me: Permission denied
upon login. After logging in, I could just chdir manually into it.

This error in turn also prevented SSH from using key authentication, as the .ssh directory was unreachable before logging in, and SSH defaulted to requesting the password.

After painstakingly checking all the many usual things with SSH on both sides, I checked the SElinux contexts:

on the well-behaving hosts:
# ls --context -d /home /home/me

drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:home_root_t:s0 /home
drwx------. me me unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_dir_t:s0 /home/me

on the misbehaved host:
# ls --context -d /home /home/me

drwxr-xr-x. root root system_u:object_r:file_t:s0 /home
drwx------. me me unconfined_u:object_r:user_home_dir_t:s0 /home/me

Notice the /home/me has the same context, while /home hasn't, having file_t instead of home_root_t.

Simply running
# restorecon /home
solved a problem which had taken a few hours to figure out.

kevindo2020 11-11-2011 09:29 AM

Thank you marcoecc! :)

I just installed CentOS 6. First time around, I installed the OS on the first drive. Then I added a larger RAID1 partition and copied content of /home into the new RAID1 partition and mounted on /home. Then I got this same problem.

After googling around I finally got to your post.

# restorecon /home
does the trick.


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