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Permission denied on some users' authorized_keys file with OpenSSH 3.3

Using OpenSSH 3.3, some users are unable to use public key authentication. The error in /var/log/authlog is: "Authentication refused: realpath /home/username/.ssh/authorized_keys failed: Permission denied"

I tried changing this user's authorized_keys file to be world-readable, and I've tried changing the ownership. It makes no difference. Here is what the permissions are now:

    -rw-r--r--  1 username  staff  3639 Jun 28 10:34 authorized_keys

I tried creating a new key pair for myself on a different machine, and added the public key to this user's authorized_keys file, and I get the same error. If I copy the entry to my authorized_keys file, it works. The permissions on my authorized_keys file look identical.

Can anyone offer any advice?

(Please cc me on any replies: my subscription is set up so that email from this list only available to me at home, which is usually what I want, but in this case I'd like to see any replies as soon as possible.)