change owner ID
chown [ -R ] owner[:group]
The chown command changes the owner ID of each
file to the user ID specified by
owner. The owner may be either a decimal user
ID or a login name found in the file
If a group ID is given, then chown also changes
the group ID of the files to the group ID
specified by group. The group may be either a decimal
group ID or a group name found in the file
chown takes the following option:
Recursively change file user IDs, and if group is
specified, group IDs. For each file that names a
directory, chown changes the owner and group ID
of the directory and all files in the hierarchy below it.
chown returns the following values:
the command executed successfully, and all requested changes were
an error occurred
To give away ownership of file /tmp/myfile to user
chown gavin /tmp/myfile
To give away ownership of /tmp/mydir and all files within
it to user gavin:
chown -R gavin /tmp/mydir
When used to change the ownership of a symbolic link,
chown automatically follows the link and tries to change
the ownership of the linked file. It makes no sense for symbolic
links to have their own permissions and ownerships.
Use of this utility is governed by the chown kernel
privilege. Restricted chown is required for NIST FIPS
If you have chown kernel privilege, you can change the
owner and group of files that you initially own. If you do not have
chown privilege, you cannot change the ownership of files;
you can change their group, but only if the files are
initially owned by you, and the new group is your effective group
ID or is listed in your supplemental group list.
chown is conformant with:
ISO/IEC DIS 99452:1992, Information technology Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) Part 2: Shell and Utilities (IEEE Std 1003.21992);
NIST FIPS 1512;
AT&T SVID Issue 2;
X/Open CAE Specification, Commands and Utilities, Issue 4, 1992.
A version of chown
that can handle files greater than 2GB
is available in /u95/bin. See
for more information.
© 2005 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 6.0.0 -- 03 June 2005