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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for chown (redhat section 1)

CHOWN(1)								FSF								  CHOWN(1)

chown - change file owner and group
chown [OPTION]... OWNER[:[GROUP]] FILE... chown [OPTION]... :GROUP FILE... chown [OPTION]... --reference=RFILE FILE...
This manual page documents the GNU version of chown. chown changes the user and/or group ownership of each given file, according to its first non-option argument, which is interpreted as follows. If only a user name (or numeric user ID) is given, that user is made the owner of each given file, and the files' group is not changed. If the user name is followed by a colon or dot and a group name (or numeric group ID), with no spaces between them, the group ownership of the files is changed as well. If a colon or dot but no group name follows the user name, that user is made the owner of the files and the group of the files is changed to that user's login group. If the colon or dot and group are given, but the user name is omitted, only the group of the files is changed; in this case, chown performs the same function as chgrp.
Change the owner and/or group of each FILE to OWNER and/or GROUP. -c, --changes like verbose but report only when a change is made --dereference affect the referent of each symbolic link, rather than the symbolic link itself -h, --no-dereference affect symbolic links instead of any referenced file (available only on systems that can change the ownership of a symlink) --from=CURRENT_OWNER:CURRENT_GROUP change the owner and/or group of each file only if its current owner and/or group match those specified here. Either may be omit- ted, in which case a match is not required for the omitted attribute. -f, --silent, --quiet suppress most error messages --reference=RFILE use RFILE's owner and group rather than the specified OWNER:GROUP values -R, --recursive operate on files and directories recursively -v, --verbose output a diagnostic for every file processed --help display this help and exit --version output version information and exit Owner is unchanged if missing. Group is unchanged if missing, but changed to login group if implied by a `:'. OWNER and GROUP may be numeric as well as symbolic.
Written by David MacKenzie.
Report bugs to <>.
Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICU- LAR PURPOSE.
The full documentation for chown is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and chown programs are properly installed at your site, the command info chown should give you access to the complete manual. chown (coreutils) 4.5.3 February 2003 CHOWN(1)