ODOC: chown

chown — Change file Owner and Group.

Summary :

`chown’ changes the user and/or group ownership of each given file to the specified user and/or group.

Examples :

$ chown usr1 file1 — Make usr1 as the owner of the file1. No change in the group.

$ chown usr1 f1 f2 f3 — Make usr1 as owner for f1, f2 and f3.

$ chown usr1.grp1 file1 — Change owner as usr1 and group ad grp1 of the file1.

$ chown usr1:grp1 file1 — Same as above. But `:’ in place of the `.’ separator.

$ chown 500:400 file1 — Set a user, Whos user id is 500, as the owner and a group, which id is 400, as the group.

$ chown usr1. file1 — No group is specified after DOT. So usr1’s login group taken as group.

$ chown .grp1 file1 — Only group will change

$ chown -R usr1:grp1 dir1 — Recursively change ownership of Dir and their contents.

$ chown -c usr1 f1 f2 f3 — Show verbose output only when a change is made.

$ chown -v usr1 f1 f2 f3 — Show verbose output for every file processed.

$ chown -f usr1 f1 f2 f3 — Force/Silent/Quiet. Do not print error messages.

$ chown –reference=that this — Set the ‘that’ file’s owner and group to ‘this’ file.

$ chown –from=usr1 usr2 * — Change a file’s ownership only if it’s owner is usr1


  1. Seperators ‘.’ and ‘:’ are interechangeable
  2. No embedded whitespace is allowed between user and group
  3. Instead of user/group name, User ID and Group ID can be used.

$ echo $UID — Show User ID.
$ echo $GROUP — Show Group ID.

Read : man chown

odoc, chown, linux, gnu/linux