How to change ownership of a file Linux CLI

This is a quick reference guide on how to change ownership of a file on Linux Based Operating Systems.

1. Change ownership of a file using chown command

[root@vps1 ~]# chown root file1
[root@vps1 ~]# ls -l file1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jun  4 11:06 file1
[root@vps1 ~]# chown vpsuser file1
[root@vps1 ~]# ls -l file1
-rw-r--r-- 1 vpsuser root 0 Jun  4 11:06 file1

2. Check the file permission using ls -l

root@vps:~# ls -l file1
-rwxr-x--x 1 root root 0 Jun  3 08:17 file1

A dash (-) indicates that the file is a regular file.

The letter (d) indicates that the file is a directory as per below:

A letter (l) preceding indicates a special file type called a symlink. A symlink is a pointer to another location in the file system.

drwxr-xr-x 3 root root       4096 Oct 18  2018 ufw

The first three letters above refer to the permission of the user so in this case rwx, so read, write, and execute.

The next three letters is for group r-x, so read and execute, but not write as indicated by the dash.

The next three letters is for other r-x, so read and execute, but not write as indicated by the dash. (so the same as group in this example)

The number 3 in this example after the permissions indicates the number of files or sub-directories contained within this particular directory.

The first name after the number (directory and file number) in the example below is the user or file owner. “vpsuser”

The second name refers to the files group. “group1”

-rwxr-x--x 1 vpsuser group1 0 Jun  3 08:17 file1
root@vps:~#

The remainder of the file details are the size of the file, the date and time that the file was created or last modified, and the file name.

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Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave any feedback.

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