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What are the permissions on /var/mail? If it's owned by root and doesn't give your account permission to the directory, you won't get to write to it, even if you have write access to the symlink. Example:

$ mkdir foo foo/bar foo/baz foo/bat $ cd foo $ chmod 000 bar $ ls -al total 44 drwxr-xr-x 5 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:07 . drwxr-xr-x 4 marco marco 28672 2012-08-18 22:07 .. d--------- 2 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:07 bar drwxr-xr-x 2 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:07 bat drwxr-xr-x 2 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:07 baz

OK, now we have directories bar and bat, identical except that bar has no permissions for anyone. Let's go into baz and make symlinks to bar and bat:

$ cd baz $ ln -s ../bar bar $ ln -s ../bat bat $ ls -al total 8 drwxr-xr-x 2 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:08 . drwxr-xr-x 5 marco marco 4096 2012-08-18 22:07 .. lrwxrwxrwx 1 marco marco 6 2012-08-18 22:08 bar -> ../bar lrwxrwxrwx 1 marco marco 6 2012-08-18 22:08 bat -> ../bat

As you can see, the permissions on the bar symlink are the same as for the bat symlink. Let's create a file and copy it to bar and bat:

$ touch t $ cp t bat $ cp t bar cp: cannot stat `bar/t': Permission denied $ ls bat t $ ls bar ls: cannot open directory bar: Permission denied

What happened? You have access to the symlink, but not to the underlying directory. In short, if you're going to write a file to the directory, you'll need write access to the underlying directory.


When your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like your thumb.

In reply to Re^3: Program requires special privilege e.g. as root or admin by roboticus
in thread Program requires special privilege e.g. as root or admin by romy_mathew

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    [1nickt]: ugh, I stuck my head in the bass bin for 30 seconds on a dare at Ted Nugent at Hammersmith Odeon. Yes, I am 40% deaf now.
    [johngg]: My daughter is incredibly jealous of my wife who got to see The Clash at Brixton many years ago. They went to see The Vaccines there recently.
    [1nickt]: But the bands are even louder! I saw Spearhead (Michael Franti) at an outdoor show and had to walk a mile away to not feel pain in my chest! Babies were crying ... I asked the sound engineer why it was necessary to have the bass so loud and he laughed...
    [Discipulus]: but the best i attended live was Mano Negra Patchanka at Forte Prenestino .. in 1990
    [Corion]: Hmmm - Mano Negra or at least Manu Chao seem to put on a good live show. At least the one live CD I have from Manu Chao sounds good ;)
    Discipulus feels the same jealousity of the johngg's daughter
    [1nickt]: choroba I agree
    [choroba]: Playing in a punk rock band for 20 years... my hearing is quite bad

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