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.\" from: @(#)chown.8 8.3 (Berkeley) 3/31/94
.Dd $Mdocdate: September 14 2015 $
.Dt CHOWN 8
.Nd change file owner and group
.Op Fl h
.Op Fl H | L | P
.Ar owner Ns Op : Ns Ar group
.Op Fl h
.Op Fl H | L | P
.Pf : Ar group
sets the user ID and/or the group ID of the specified files.
The options are as follows:
.Bl -tag -width Ds
.It Fl H
option is specified, symbolic links on the command line are followed.
Symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal are not followed.
.It Fl h
Treat symbolic links like other files: modify links instead of
options are mutually exclusive.
.It Fl L
option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.
.It Fl P
option is specified, no symbolic links are followed.
.It Fl R
is a directory,
change the user ID and/or the group ID of the directory
and all the files and directories in the file hierarchy below it.
.Fl H ,
.Fl L ,
options are ignored unless the
option is specified;
if none of them are given,
the default is to not follow symbolic links.
In addition, these options override each other and the
command's actions are determined by the last one specified.
operands are both optional; however, one must be specified.
operand is specified, it must be preceded by a colon
.Pq Sq \&:
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
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
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
.Xr sysctl 8
Only the superuser is permitted to change the owner of a file.
.Sh EXIT STATUS
.Ex -std chown
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr chgrp 1 ,
.Xr find 1 ,
.Xr chown 2 ,
.Xr fts 3 ,
.Xr symlink 7
utility is compliant with the
The ability to specify
is an extension to that specification.
.Pf non- Bx
systems may allow the (non-privileged) owner of a file to change
Previous versions of the
utility used the dot
.Pq Sq \&.
character to distinguish the group name.
This has been changed to be a colon
.Pq Sq \&:
character so that user and
group names may contain the dot character.