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chown command man page

CHOWN(1) User Commands      CHOWN(1)

       chown - change file owner and group
       chown [OPTION]... [OWNER][:[GROUP]] FILE...
       chown [OPTION]... --reference=RFILE FILE...

       This manual page documents the GNU version of chown.  chown 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,
       chown  performs the same function as chgrp.  If only a colon is given,
       or if the entire operand is empty, neither the owner nor the  group  is

       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 sym-
     bolic 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

       --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.

       -H     if  a  command  line argument is a symbolic link to a directory,
     traverse it

       -L     traverse every symbolic link to a directory encountered

       -P     do not traverse any symbolic links (default)

       --help 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 <>.

       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
       <>. There is NO WARRANTY,  to  the
       extent permitted by law.

       The full documentation for chown is maintained as a Texinfo manual.  If
       the info and chown programs are properly installed at  your  site,  the

     info chown

       should give you access to the complete manual.

chown 5.97   May 2011      CHOWN(1)


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