Command Section
CHOWN(8)                FreeBSD System Manager's Manual               CHOWN(8)

     chown - change file owner and group

     chown [-fhvx] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] owner[:group] file ...
     chown [-fhvx] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] :group file ...

     The chown utility changes the user ID and/or the group ID of the
     specified files.  Symbolic links named by arguments are silently left
     unchanged unless -h is used.

     The options are as follows:

     -H      If the -R option is specified, symbolic links on the command line
             are followed and hence unaffected by the command.  (Symbolic
             links encountered during traversal are not followed.)

     -L      If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.

     -P      If the -R option is specified, no symbolic links are followed.
             This is the default.

     -R      Change the user ID and/or the group ID of the file hierarchies
             rooted in the files, instead of just the files themselves.
             Beware of unintentionally matching the ``..'' hard link to the
             parent directory when using wildcards like ``.*''.

     -f      Do not report any failure to change file owner or group, nor
             modify the exit status to reflect such failures.

     -h      If the file is a symbolic link, change the user ID and/or the
             group ID of the link itself.

     -v      Cause chown to be verbose, showing files as the owner is
             modified.  If the -v flag is specified more than once, chown will
             print the filename, followed by the old and new numeric
             user/group ID.

     -x      File system mount points are not traversed.

     The -H, -L and -P options are ignored unless the -R option is specified.
     In addition, these options override each other and the command's actions
     are determined by the last one specified.

     The owner and group operands are both optional, however, one must be
     specified.  If the group operand is specified, it must be preceded by a
     colon (``:'') character.

     The owner may be either a numeric user ID or a user name.  If a user name
     is also a numeric user ID, the operand is used as a user name.  The group
     may be either a numeric group ID or a group name.  If a group name is
     also a numeric group ID, the operand is used as a group name.

     The ownership of a file may only be altered by a super-user for obvious
     security reasons.

     The chown utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

     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 may contain the dot character.

     On previous versions of this system, symbolic links did not have owners.

     The -v and -x options are non-standard and their use in scripts is not

     chgrp(1), find(1), chown(2), fts(3), symlink(7)

     The chown utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'')

     A chown utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4         April 20, 2015         FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p4
Command Section