CHOWN(8) BSD System Manager's Manual CHOWN(8)
chown - change file owner and group
chown [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f] [-h] owner[:group] file [...] chown [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-fh] :group file [...]
chown sets the user ID and/or the group ID of the specified files. The options are as follows: -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.) -L If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed. -P If the -R option is specified, no symbolic links are followed. -R Change the user ID and/or the group ID for the file hierarchies rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves. -f Don't report any failure to change file owner or group, nor modi- fy the exit status to reflect such failures. -h Change the user ID and/or the group ID on symbolic links. The -R and -h options are mutually exclusive. 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, one must be specified. If the group operand is specified, it must be preceded 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. By default, chown clears the set-user-ID and set-group-ID bits on the file to prevent accidental or mischievous creation of set-user-ID and set-group-ID programs. This behaviour can be overridden by setting the sysctl(8) variable fs.posix.suid to zero. Only the superuser is permitted to change the owner of a file. The chown utility exits 0 on success or >0 if an error occurred.
chgrp(1), find(1), chown(2), lchown(2), fts(3), symlink(7)
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. The chown command is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 ("POSIX.2") compli- ant. MirOS BSD #10-current May 20, 2007 1
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