chcat - Linux


chcat is a command-line tool used to change file attributes and extended attributes (xattrs) on Linux systems. It provides a convenient way to modify file metadata, such as permissions, ownership, and timestamps.


chcat [options] file/directory


  • -v, –verbose: Enable verbose mode, printing detailed information about the changes being made.
  • -c, –create: Create a new file or directory if it does not exist.
  • -R, –recursive: Apply changes recursively to all files and directories within a specified directory.
  • -f, –force: Ignore errors and continue changing attributes even if conflicts occur.
  • -h, –help: Display help information.


Change file permissions:

chcat -v permissions=755 myfile

Set ownership of a directory:

chcat -R ownership=username:groupname mydirectory

Create a file with custom timestamp:

chcat -c create=yes date=2023-02-14T13:00:00 myfile.txt

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to modify the file or directory.
  • File not found: Verify that the specified file or directory exists.
  • Invalid attribute: Check the syntax of the attribute you are trying to change.


chcat can be used in conjunction with other Linux commands for advanced tasks. Here are some examples:

find . -type f -exec chcat -R ownership=username:groupname {} +
xargs -n 1 chcat -v permissions=644

Related Commands

  • lsattr: List file attributes and xattrs.
  • setfacl: Set file access control lists (ACLs).
  • touch: Modify file timestamps.