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CHOWN(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		      CHOWN(8)

NAME
     chown — change file owner and group

SYNOPSIS
     chown [-fhvx] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] owner[:group] file ...
     chown [-fhvx] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] :group file ...

DESCRIPTION
     The chown utility changes the user ID and/or the group ID of the speci‐
     fied files.  Symbolic links named by arguments are silently left
     unchanged unless -h is used.

     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.
	     This is the default.

     -R	     Change the user ID and/or the group ID of the specified directory
	     trees (recursively, including their contents) and files.  Beware
	     of unintentionally matching the “..” hard link to the parent
	     directory when using wildcards like “.*”.

     -f	     Do not report any failure to change file owner or group, nor mod‐
	     ify the exit status to reflect such failures.

     -h	     If the file is a symbolic link, change the user ID and/or the
	     group ID of the link itself.

     -v	     Cause chown to be verbose, showing files as the owner is modi‐
	     fied.  If the -v flag is specified more than once, chown will
	     print the filename, followed by the old and new numeric
	     user/group ID.

     -x	     File system mount points are not traversed.

     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.

     The ownership of a file may only be altered by a super-user for obvious
     security reasons.

EXIT STATUS
     The chown utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

COMPATIBILITY
     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.

     On previous versions of this system, symbolic links did not have owners.

     The -v and -x options are non-standard and their use in scripts is not
     recommended.

SEE ALSO
     chgrp(1), find(1), chown(2), fts(3), symlink(7)

STANDARDS
     The chown utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”) compli‐
     ant.

HISTORY
     A chown utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

BSD			       February 21, 2010			   BSD
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