chown command is used to change file and folders user, group, and other ownership. chown is a very useful tool but sometimes becomes very dangerous because it can harm the current owner’s policy.chown mainly changes read, write, and execute the owner according to the given user or group.
chown Command Syntax
chown is like below.
chown OPTIONS USER:GROUP FILE
List User and Group Owner Of The Files and Folders
Before starting to change file and folders owner in Linux we should list current owners of the file. We will use
ls -l command which will list all files owner users and a group of the current working path.
$ ls -l
In this example we can see that all files have owner user
ismail and owner group
Using Root Account
While changing permissions and ownership in Linux the most straightforward way is using root account. Root account provides highest privileges so we will have the power to change things.
Change Owner User Of The File and Folder
The simplex usage form of
chown is changing the owner user of the given file. We will simply specify the owner’s username of the file and file name to do this. In this example, we will change the owner user of a file named
$ chown ismail acknow.txt
Change Owner Group Name Of The File and Folder
As we know the files and folders in Linux have owner users and owner groups. We can also change the owner group with chmod command. We will put the new group name after : . In this example, we will change the owner group to
$ chown :ismail acknow.txt
Change User and Owner Group Name
In previous steps, we have changed the user and group ownership of files in separate steps. We can do this user and group ownership change in a single step with : . In this example, we will change user ownership to
ahmet and group ownership
$ chown ahmet:ismail acknow.txt
Change Files and Folders Ownership Recursively
Changing the ownership of files one by one is not a practical easy solution if we have 1000 files. Or we may need to change all ownership of folders and subfolders with their file contents. We can use
-R for recursive operations.
$ chown -R ismail:ismail backup
chown Command Verbose Mode
While changing files and folders we may need to print verbose output about changes. We can use
-v option in order to change this.
$ chown -v -R ismail:ismail *