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.
like verbose but report only when a change is made
-f, --silent, --quiet
suppress most error messages
output a diagnostic for every file processed
affect the referent of each symbolic link (this is the default),
rather than the symbolic link itself
affect symbolic links 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
do not treat '/' specially (the default)
fail to operate recursively on '/'
use RFILE's owner and group rather than specifying OWNER:GROUP
operate on files and directories recursively
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,
-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.
GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
Report chown translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>
Copyright (C) 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU
GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/chown>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) chown invocation'
GNU coreutils 8.28 October 2017 CHOWN(1)