chown - Changes the owner of files or directories
chown [-fhR] owner [:group] file...
The chown command changes the owner of the specified files or directories
to the specified user name or user ID.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about indus-
try standards and associated tags.
-f [Tru64 UNIX] Turns off error reporting.
-h [Tru64 UNIX] If file is a symbolic link, chown -h file changes the
owner of the symbolic link. The chown file format changes the owner of
the file referenced by the symbolic link.
-R Descends recursively through its directory arguments, setting the
The pathname of the file for which ownership is to be changed.
A user ID and optional group ID to be assigned to file. The owner por-
tion of this operand must be a user name from the user database or a
numeric user ID. Either specifies a user ID to be given to each file
named by one of the file operands. If a numeric owner operand exists in
the user database as a user name, the user ID number associated with
that user name will be used as the user ID.
If the group portion of this operand is present, it must be a group
name from the group database or a numeric group ID. Either specifies a
group ID to be given to each file. If a numeric group operand exists in
the group database as a group name, the group ID number associated with
that group name will be used as the group ID.
[Tru64 UNIX] Only a user with superuser authority can use the chown com-
The owner argument must be a valid user name or a valid numerical user ID.
The optional group argument must be a valid group name or a valid numerical
The following exit values are returned:
0 The chown command executed successfully and all requested changes have
>>0 An error occurred.
To change the owner of the file program.c, enter:
chown steffan program.c
The user access permissions for program.c now apply to steffan. As the
owner, steffan can use the chmod command to permit or deny the other users
access to program.c. See the chmod command for details.
The following environment variables affect the execution of chown:
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that
are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value
from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-
byte characters in arguments).
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic mes-
sages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
Contains user names and numeric user IDs.
Commands: chgrp(1), chmod(1), passwd(1)
Functions: chown(2), chmod(2)