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How to Change the Owner of a Folder in Linux:

Changing the owner of a folder is a simple task in the Linux environment but we all have been there and done that, Where we suddenly dont remember how to do it or we do it and get errors. There are 3 methods that I personally know of and would like to document it even for my personal use. Let me share it with you. And I am pretty sure that you guys have never read it and went on to copy pasting things into the terminal. 

Method 1: Using the chown Command

The chown command is the primary tool for changing file and directory ownership in Linux. Here’s the basic syntax:

sudo chown [new_owner]:[new_group] /path/to/folder

Example 1:

sudo chown john:users /var/www/html/mywebsite

In this example, we’re changing the owner of the “mywebsite” folder to the user “john” and assigning the group “users.”

Example 2:

sudo chown -R alice:developers /home/alice/documents

Method 2: Using the find Command with exec

The find command, in combination with the exec option, allows you to perform actions on files that match specific criteria.

Example 3:

sudo find /path/to/folder -exec chown new_owner:new_group {} \;

Method 3: Using the chgrp Command

The chgrp command is dedicated to changing the group ownership of files and directories.

Example 4:

sudo chgrp developers /opt/project

In this example, we’re changing the group ownership of the “project” folder to the “developers” group.

Tips and Considerations:


Please make sure that the user executing the command has the necessary permissions to change ownership. Using sudo is often required for critical directories.


Before making significant changes, especially recursively, consider taking a backup of the important data to prevent accidental data loss.

User and Group Information:

Verify the correct spelling and case of the new owner and group to avoid errors.

Recursive Changes:

Use the -R flag cautiously, especially when dealing with system-critical directories, to prevent unintended consequences.

Preserving Timestamps:

The -c option with chown helps preserve the timestamps of files even if ownership remains unchanged.


It is obviously a simple task and can be done in hundreds of ways. And if you are reading this conclusion, what are you doing on this site? No Engineer I know of ever cares to read till conclusion. You are probably HR. So, Go Share your email in the newsletter and help me make money. 

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