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UNIX/LINUX Command – chown

Last updated Apr 24, 2021


chown—Change the user and group ownership of files


chown [–Rcfv] [—recursive] [—changes] [—help] [—version] [—silent] [—quiet] [—verbose] [user][:.][group] file…


This manual page documents the GNU version of chown. chown changes the user and/or group ownership of each given file, according to its first nonoption argument, which is interpreted as follows. If only a username (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 username is followed by a colon or dot 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 or dot but no group name follows the username, 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 or dot and group are given, but the username is omitted, only the group of the files is changed; in this case, chown performs the same function as chgrp.


Options Description
–c, —changes Verbosely describe only files whose ownership actually changes.
–f, —silent, —quiet Do not print error messages about files whose ownership cannot be changed.
–v, —verbose Verbosely describe ownership changes.
–R, —recursive Recursively change ownership of directories and their contents.
—help Print a usage message on standard output and exit successfully.
—version Print version information on standard output then exit successfully.

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