Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: March 2007
Return to Main Contents
chown - change file owner and group
[OPTION]... [OWNER][:[GROUP]] FILE...
[OPTION]... --reference=RFILE FILE...
This manual page
documents the GNU version of
changes the user and/or group ownership of each given file. If
only an owner (a user name or numeric user ID) is given, that user is made the
owner of each given file, and the files' group is not changed. If the
owner is followed by a colon and a group name (or numeric group ID),
with no spaces between them, the group ownership of the files is
changed as well. If a colon but no group name follows the user name,
that user is made the owner of the files and the group of the files is
changed to that user's login group. If the colon and group are given,
but the owner is omitted, only the group of the files is changed;
in this case,
performs the same function as
If only a colon is given, or if the entire operand is empty, neither the
owner nor the group is changed.
Change the owner and/or group of each FILE to OWNER and/or GROUP.
With --reference, change the owner and group of each FILE to those of RFILE.
- -c, --changes
like verbose but report only when a change is made
affect the referent of each symbolic link, rather
than the symbolic link itself (this is the default)
- -h, --no-dereference
affect each symbolic link instead of any referenced
file (useful only on systems that can change the
ownership of a symlink)
change the owner and/or group of each file only if
its current owner and/or group match those specified
here. Either may be omitted, in which case a match
is not required for the omitted attribute.
--no-preserve-root do not treat `/' specially (the default)
- fail to operate recursively on `/'
- -f, --silent, --quiet
suppress most error messages
use RFILE's owner and group rather than
the specifying OWNER:GROUP values
- -R, --recursive
operate on files and directories recursively
- -v, --verbose
output a diagnostic for every file processed
The following options modify how a hierarchy is traversed when the -R
option is also specified. If more than one is specified, only the final
one takes effect.
if a command line argument is a symbolic link
to a directory, traverse it
traverse every symbolic link to a directory
do not traverse any symbolic links (default)
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
Owner is unchanged if missing. Group is unchanged if missing, but changed
to login group if implied by a `:' following a symbolic OWNER.
OWNER and GROUP may be numeric as well as symbolic.
- chown root /u
Change the owner of /u to "root".
- chown root:staff /u
Likewise, but also change its group to "staff".
- chown -hR root /u
Change the owner of /u and subfiles to "root".
Written by David MacKenzie and Jim Meyering.
Report bugs to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of
the GNU General Public License <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
The full documentation for
is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the
programs are properly installed at your site, the command
should give you access to the complete manual.
- REPORTING BUGS
- SEE ALSO
linux.jgfs.net manual pages