CHFLAGS(1) BSD General Commands Manual CHFLAGS(1)NAMEchflags — change file flags
SYNOPSISchflags [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] flags file ...
The chflags utility modifies the file flags of the listed files as speci‐
fied by the flags operand.
The options are as follows:
-f Do not display a diagnostic message if chflags could not modify
the flags for file, nor modify the exit status to reflect such
-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 file flags of the link
itself rather than the file to which it points.
-L If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.
-P If the -R option is specified, no symbolic links are followed.
This is the default.
-R Change the file flags for the file hierarchies rooted in the
files instead of just the files themselves.
-v Cause chflags to be verbose, showing filenames as the flags are
modified. If the -v option is specified more than once, the old
and new flags of the file will also be printed, in octal nota‐
The flags are specified as an octal number or a comma separated list of
keywords. The following keywords are currently defined:
set the archived flag (super-user only)
opaque set the opaque flag (owner or super-user only)
nodump set the nodump flag (owner or super-user only)
set the system append-only flag (super-user only)
schg, schange, simmutable
set the system immutable flag (super-user only)
set the system undeletable flag (super-user only)
set the user append-only flag (owner or super-user only)
uchg, uchange, uimmutable
set the user immutable flag (owner or super-user only)
set the user undeletable flag (owner or super-user only)
Putting the letters “no” before or removing the letters “no” from a key‐
word causes the flag to be cleared. For example:
nouchg clear the user immutable flag (owner or super-user only)
dump clear the nodump flag (owner or super-user only)
A few of the octal values include:
0 Clear all file flags.
1 Translates to the nodump keyword.
2 Translates to the uchg keyword.
3 Translates to the uchg, nodump keywords.
4 Translates to the uappnd keyword.
10 Translates to the opaque keyword.
20 translates to the uunlnk keyword.
Other combinations of keywords may be placed by using the octets
assigned; however, these are the most notable.
Unless the -H, -L, or -h options are given, chflags on a symbolic link
always succeeds and has no effect. 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 spec‐
You can use "ls -lo" to see the flags of existing files.
Note that the ability to change certain flags is dependent on the current
kernel securelevel setting. See security(7) for more information on this
The chflags utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
SEE ALSOls(1), chflags(2), stat(2), fts(3), security(7), symlink(7)HISTORY
The chflags command first appeared in 4.4BSD.
Only a limited number of utilities are chflags aware. Some of these
tools include ls(1), cp(1), find(1), install(1), dump(8), and restore(8).
In particular a tool which is not currently chflags aware is the pax(1)
BSD March 3, 2006 BSD