76

How can I use the chown command to change the ownership of all a folder's subfolders and files?

2
  • 1
    chown -R should work for you.
    – Wayne_Yux
    Nov 3 '15 at 12:59
  • 3
    chown -R your_username:your_group folder
    – Alex Lowe
    Nov 3 '15 at 13:15
93

From chown --help:

Usage: chown [OPTION]... [OWNER][:[GROUP]] FILE...
  or:  chown [OPTION]... --reference=RFILE FILE...
Change the owner and/or group of each FILE to OWNER and/or GROUP.

[...]

  -R, --recursive        operate on files and directories recursively

[...]

So you need to run (probably with sudo):

chown -R USERNAME:GROUPNAME /PATH/TO/FILE

Or, if the group shall be the specified user's primary group (usually same name), you can also omit the GROUPNAME and just give the USERNAME: with a colon (no space before it!). It will be set implicitly:

chown -R USERNAME: /PATH/TO/FILE

To only change the user and leave the group as it is, just specify USERNAME and no group name and no colon:

chown -R USERNAME /PATH/TO/FILE

To only change the group and leave the owner user as it is, just specify :GROUPNAME with a leading colon:

chown -R :GROUPNAME /PATH/TO/FILE
0
20

My username is timo and I did this to take ownership to all my files and folders on home directory (transferred from another account):

~$ sudo chown -R timo /home/timo/*
1
  • Worked for me. Thanks.
    – DarthWader
    Nov 19 '20 at 20:13
12
chown -R <username>:<groupname> <folder>

This is how I normally do it, and I usually do this one folder at a time. Doesn't take but a few moments to work through each folder.

1

I prefer: chown -hR :

This will also change ownership of symlinks instead of just the destination files that the symlinks point to.

0
man chown
chown options user:group files/folders

Not sure why other answers did not cover one dot. : And . are interchangeable, so you can use one dot for instance

chown -R user.group files/folders

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