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

     chown - change file owner and group

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

     chown sets the user ID and/or the group ID of the specified files.

     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.

     -R      Change the user ID and/or the group ID for the file hierarchies
             rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves.

     -f      Don't report any failure to change file owner or group, nor mod-
             ify the exit status to reflect such failures.

     -h      If file is a symbolic link, the owner and/or group of the link is

     -v      Cause chown to be verbose, showing files as they are processed.

     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 -L option cannot be used together with the -h option.

     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 user name or a numeric user ID.  The group may
     be either a group name or a numeric group ID.  Since it is valid to have
     a user or group name that is numeric (and doesn't have the numeric ID
     that matches its name) the name lookup is always done first.  Preceeding
     an ID with a ``#'' character will force it to be taken as a number.

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

     Unless invoked by the super-user, chown clears the set-user-id and set-
     group-id bits on a file to prevent accidental or mischievous creation of
     set-user-id and set-group-id programs.

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

     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.

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

     The chown command is expected to be POSIX 1003.2 compliant.

     The -v option and the use of ``#'' to force a numeric lookup are exten-
     sions to IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'').

NetBSD 1.6                    September 25, 2003                    NetBSD 1.6

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>
©1996-2001 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen <>