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man page and libc permissions error for root


I have an error that I can't find.  Maybe someone can point me in the
right direction.  The error is causing a number of problems some would
take a long explanation to describe, but one that seems quite easy to
describe is this.  When I login as myself and do man I get a man page. 
But then if I su and become root, then do man, I get the error message:

"man: error in loading shared object libraries"
"libc.so.6: cannot open shared object file: Permission denied"

This has something to do with groups.  If I make root a member of one
certain group, then the problem goes away.  In fact, if a user other
than root is not a member of this group, that user cannot even login at
all.  If I try to su to a user who is not in this one group the error
message is "su: cannot run /bin/sh: Permission denied".  I thought this
problem had to do with some permissions or ownership being set wrong on
some file or directory, so I went through and compared the permissions
and ownerships on this machine with those on a similarly set up machine
that doesn't have this problem and couldn't see anything wrong.  But
one thing that bothers me about this analysis is that I understood that
root should have rights whether or not in a certain group.  And root
doesn't get this error message when logging in or doing su, but does 
get that first mentioned message when doing man.

Another problem that this is causing is that no mail server will run
because the user and group that the server tries to do its business
under won't work.

I'm using Debian Slink, the most recent version, the one that came out
around the end of the year, but this problem started way before that. 
I don't know what I did about the time it started that probably caused
this, because it took me a while to realize what was going on.  The
kernel is 2.0.38. In the lib directory, the link libc.so.6 points to
libc-2.0.7.so.  This is owned by root, group root, and the permissions
are -rw-r--r-- and this is exactly the same as on another, working,
computer.  Everything in /bin is permissions -rwxr-xr-x.  I'm not
really even sure what info would be helpful to give.

Thank you,
Don MacDougall

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