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chown(8)                  BSD System Manager's Manual                 chown(8)


NAME

     chown -- change file owner and group


SYNOPSIS

     chown [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] owner[:group] file ...
     chown [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] :group file ...


DESCRIPTION

     The chown utility changes the user ID and/or the group ID of the speci-
     fied files.  Symbolic links named by arguments are silently left
     unchanged unless -h is used.

     The options are as follows:

     -f      Don't report any failure to change file owner or group, nor mod-
             ify the exit status to reflect such failures.

     -H      If the -R option is specified, symbolic links on the command line
             are followed.  (Symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal
             are not followed.)

     -h      If the file is a symbolic link, change the user ID and/or the
             group ID of the link itself.

     -L      If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.

     -P      If the -R option is specified, no symbolic links are followed.
             Instead, the user and/or group ID of the link itself are modi-
             fied.  This is the default. Use -h to change the user ID and/or
             the group of symbolic links.

     -R      Change the user ID and/or the group ID for the file hierarchies
             rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves.

     -v      Cause chown to be verbose, showing files as the owner is modi-
             fied.

     The -H, -L and -P options are ignored unless the -R option is specified.
     In addition, these options override each other and the command's actions
     are determined by the last one specified.

     The owner and group operands are both optional; however, at least one
     must be specified.  If the group operand is specified, it must be pre-
     ceded by a colon (``:'') character.

     The owner may be either a numeric user ID or a user name.  If a user name
     is also a numeric user ID, the operand is used as a user name.  The group
     may be either a numeric group ID or a group name.  If a group name is
     also a numeric group ID, the operand is used as a group name.

     For obvious security reasons, the ownership of a file may only be altered
     by a super-user.  Similarly, only a member of a group can change a file's
     group ID to that group.


DIAGNOSTICS

     The chown utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


COMPATIBILITY

     Previous versions of the chown utility used the dot (``.'') character to
     distinguish the group name.  This has been changed to be a colon (``:'')
     character, so that user and group names may contain the dot character.

     On previous versions of this system, symbolic links did not have owners.

     The -v option is non-standard and its use in scripts is not recommended.


LEGACY DESCRIPTION

     In legacy mode, the -R and -RP options do not change the user ID or the
     group ID of symbolic links.


SEE ALSO

     chgrp(1), find(1), chown(2), fts(3), compat(5), symlink(7)


STANDARDS

     The chown utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compli-
     ant.


HISTORY

     A chown utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

BSD                             March 31, 1994                             BSD

Mac OS X 10.8 - Generated Mon Sep 3 17:11:39 CDT 2012