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Programming Perl

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3.2.15 chown

chown LIST

This function changes the owner (and group) of a list of files. The first two elements of the list must be the numerical uid and gid, in that order. The function returns the number of files successfully changed. For example:

$cnt = chown $uid, $gid, 'file1', 'file2';

will set $cnt to 0, 1, or 2, depending on how many files got changed (in the sense that the operation succeeded, not in the sense that the owner was different afterward). Here's a more typical usage:

chown $uid, $gid, @filenames;

Here's a subroutine that looks everything up for you, and then does the chown:

sub chown_by_name {
    local($user, $pattern) = @_;
    chown((getpwnam($user))[2,3], glob($pattern));

&chown_by_name("fred", "*.c");

Notice that this forces the group of each file to be the gid fetched from the passwd file. An alternative is to pass a -1 for the gid, which leaves the group of the file unchanged.

On most systems, you are not allowed to change the ownership of the file unless you're the superuser, although you should be able to change the group to any of your secondary groups. On insecure systems, these restrictions may be relaxed, but this is not a portable assumption.

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