Section: POSIX Programmer's Manual (3P)
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.
The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult
the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior),
or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.
--- change the owner and group of a symbolic link
int lchown(const char *path, uid_t owner, gid_t group);
function shall be equivalent to
except in the case where the named file is a symbolic link. In this
shall change the ownership of the symbolic link file itself, while
changes the ownership of the file or directory to which the symbolic
Upon successful completion,
shall return 0. Otherwise, it shall return -1 and set
to indicate an error.
function shall fail if:
Search permission is denied on a component of the path prefix of
The owner or group ID is not a value supported by the implementation.
A loop exists in symbolic links encountered during resolution of the
The length of a component of a pathname is longer than
A component of
does not name an existing file or
is an empty string.
A component of the path prefix names an existing file that is neither
a directory nor a symbolic link to a directory, or the
argument contains at least one non-<slash>
character and ends with one or more trailing
characters and the last pathname component names an existing file
that is neither a directory nor a symbolic link to a directory.
The effective user ID does not match the owner of the file and the
process does not have appropriate privileges.
The file resides on a read-only file system.
function may fail if:
An I/O error occurred while reading or writing to the file system.
A signal was caught during execution of the function.
symbolic links were encountered during resolution of the
The length of a pathname exceeds
or pathname resolution of a symbolic link produced an intermediate
result with a length that exceeds
The following sections are informative.
Changing the Current Owner of a File
The following example shows how to change the ownership of the symbolic
to the user ID associated with ``jones'' and the group ID associated
The numeric value for the user ID is obtained by using the
function. The numeric value for the group ID is obtained by using the
struct passwd *pwd;
struct group *grp;
char *path = "/modules/pass1";
pwd = getpwnam("jones");
grp = getgrnam("cnd");
lchown(path, pwd->pw_uid, grp->gr_gid);
On implementations which support symbolic links as directory entries
rather than files,
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2008,
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
-- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group.
(This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at
Any typographical or formatting errors that appear
in this page are most likely
to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to
man page format. To report such errors, see