fchown32 - Linux


fchown32 is a utility that changes the owner and group of a file or directory, using 32-bit integer user and group IDs. It is commonly employed in scripts and system automation tasks where precise control over file ownership is necessary.


fchown32 [OPTION]... [-R|--recursive] [-fh|-f] [-H|--no-dereference] [-n|--no-dereference] [-v|--verbose] [-a|--reference=RFILE] FILE...


  • -h, –help: Displays a help message and exits.
  • -R, –recursive: Recursively changes the ownership of the specified files and directories and their contents.
  • -fh, -f: Skips changing ownership for nonexistent files.
  • -H, –no-dereference: Does not follow symbolic links. Instead, changes the ownership of the symbolic link itself.
  • -n, –no-dereference: Same as -H.
  • -v, –verbose: Displays additional information during execution.
  • -a, –reference=RFILE: Uses the owner and group of the specified reference file instead of the provided user and group ID.


  • Change ownership of a single file:
fchown32 1000 1000 /tmp/myfile
  • Recursively change ownership of a directory and its contents:
fchown32 -R 1000 1000 /home/user/mydir
  • Skip changing ownership for nonexistent files:
fchown32 -f 1000 1000 /tmp/file1 /tmp/file2
  • Change ownership using reference file:
fchown32 -a /tmp/referencefile /tmp/myfile

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: Ensure the user running fchown32 has sufficient permissions to change the ownership of the specified files or directories.
  • Invalid user or group ID: Make sure the provided user and group IDs are valid and exist on the system.
  • Directory loops: Avoid creating ownership loops when using -R.


  • Can be combined with find and other file manipulation commands for complex ownership changes.
  • Useful in scripts for automating the setup and maintenance of file permissions and ownership.

Related Commands

  • chown, chgrp, usermod, groupmod