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BSD 2.11 - man page for chown (bsd section 2)

CHOWN(2)					 System Calls Manual					     CHOWN(2)

NAME
chown - change owner and group of a file
SYNOPSIS
chown(path, owner, group) char *path; int owner, group; fchown(fd, owner, group) int fd, owner, group;
DESCRIPTION
The file that is named by path or referenced by fd has its owner and group changed as specified. Only the super-user may change the owner of the file, because if users were able to give files away, they could defeat the file-space accounting procedures. The owner of the file may change the group to a group of which he is a member. On some systems, chown clears the set-user-id and set-group-id bits on the file to prevent accidental creation of set-user-id and set-group-id programs. Fchown is particularly useful when used in conjunction with the file locking primitives (see flock(2)). One of the owner or group id's may be left unchanged by specifying it as -1. If the final component of path is a symbolic link, the ownership and group of the symbolic link is changed, not the ownership and group of the file or directory to which it points.
RETURN VALUE
Zero is returned if the operation was successful; -1 is returned if an error occurs, with a more specific error code being placed in the global variable errno.
ERRORS
Chown will fail and the file will be unchanged if: [ENOTDIR] A component of the path prefix is not a directory. [EINVAL] The pathname contains a character with the high-order bit set. [ENAMETOOLONG] A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire path name exceeded 1023 charac- ters. [ENOENT] The named file does not exist. [EACCES] Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix. [ELOOP] Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname. [EPERM] The effective user ID is not the super-user. [EROFS] The named file resides on a read-only file system. [EFAULT] Path points outside the process's allocated address space. [EIO] An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to the file system. Fchown will fail if: [EBADF] Fd does not refer to a valid descriptor. [EINVAL] Fd refers to a socket, not a file. [EPERM] The effective user ID is not the super-user. [EROFS] The named file resides on a read-only file system. [EIO] An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to the file system.
SEE ALSO
chown(8), chgrp(1), chmod(2), flock(2) 4th Berkeley Distribution May 22, 1986 CHOWN(2)


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