chown(1) — Linux manual page


CHOWN(1)                        User Commands                       CHOWN(1)

NAME         top

       chown - change file owner and group

SYNOPSIS         top

       chown [OPTION]... [OWNER][:[GROUP]] FILE...
       chown [OPTION]... --reference=RFILE FILE...

DESCRIPTION         top

       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 changed.

OPTIONS         top

       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

       -c, --changes
              like verbose but report only when a change is made

       -f, --silent, --quiet
              suppress most error messages

       -v, --verbose
              output a diagnostic for every file processed

              affect the referent of each symbolic link (this is the
              default), rather than the symbolic link itself

       -h, --no-dereference
              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

       -R, --recursive
              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,
              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.

EXAMPLES         top

       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".

AUTHOR         top

       Written by David MacKenzie and Jim Meyering.

REPORTING BUGS         top

       GNU coreutils online help: <>
       Report any translation bugs to <>

COPYRIGHT         top

       Copyright © 2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc.  License GPLv3+: GNU
       GPL version 3 or later <>.
       This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
       There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

SEE ALSO         top


       Full documentation <>
       or available locally via: info '(coreutils) chown invocation'

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the coreutils (basic file, shell and text
       manipulation utilities) project.  Information about the project can
       be found at ⟨⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, see
       ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the tarball coreutils-8.32.tar.xz fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-09-18.  If you discover
       any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or
       you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
       COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail

GNU coreutils 8.32               March 2020                         CHOWN(1)

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