Change file owner and/or group.
Syntax chown [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] owner[:group] file ... chown [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] :group file ... Options -R Recurse: Change the mode of file hierarchies rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves. Take care to not run recursive chown on the root '/' directory or any other system directory. -R -H Follow symbolic links on the command line (by default Symbolic links within the tree are not followed.) -R -L All symbolic links are followed. -R -P No symbolic links are followed. (default) -f Do not display a diagnostic message if chmod could not modify the mode for file. -h If the file is a symbolic link, change the mode of the link itself rather than the file that the link points to. -v Verbose, show filenames as the mode is modified*
The owner and group operands are both optional; however, at least one
must be specified.
If the group operand is specified, it must be preceded by a colon (:)
* The -v option is non-standard and its use in scripts is not recommended.
The ownership of a file can only be altered by a super-user for obvious security reasons.
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 can contain the dot character.
The -v option is non-standard and its use in scripts is not recommended.
The owner/group can be either a numeric ID or a name. If a user/group name is also a numeric user ID, the operand is used as a user name.
chown exits 0 on success, and > 0 if an error occurs.
Assign Ursula as the owner of "MyFile.txt" file in the Shared directory.
$ sudo chown Ursula /Users/Shared/MyFile.txt
Assign Ursula as the owner, and staff as the group for everything in the "tmp" folder
$ sudo chown -R Ursula:staff /Users/Shared/tmp/
Change the owner of only the hidden files (prefixed with .) in the folder Work:
chown -R .* goes up as well as down
sudo chown -R audrey /Work/.*
Will be expanded by the shell to:
sudo chown -R audrey /Work/. /Work/.. /Work/.bash_history
In other words chown -R audrey /Work/.. is equivalent to chown -R audrey /
Which we do not want!
The correct way to set this:
sudo chown -R audrey /Work/.[^.]*
Reset the permissions on the entire home folder for the currently logged in user ($USER) this will reset the user ID number (UID) for all files. POSIX file permissions only use the UID, not the UserName or GUID.
$ sudo chown -R $USER ~$USER
“I never, ever say “I can't" about anything. I might say “I don't have the authority to make that decision” or “Building A is too heavy for me to lift” or "I will need training before I pilot that space shuttle” - Mike Huber
Related macOS comands:
chflags - Change a file or folder's flags.
chgrp - Change group ownership.
chmod - Change access permissions.
umask - Users file creation mask.