How to use the chgrp Command on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with Examples

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If you’re a student or new user looking for a Linux system to start learning on, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners to start learning Linux on. Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices.

The same way you use your mouse and keyboard to change files and folder permissions or perform others simple tasks on Microsoft Windows OS, Ubuntu also makes it that easy for you. If you think Windows is great for beginners, then you should also consider Ubuntu as Windows for Linux systems.

However, when you’re learning to use and understand Ubuntu Linux, you’ll also want to learn the commands. and how to use them.  This tutorial is going to show you how..

This post shows new users and students what the chgrp command is and how to use it.

When you’re ready to learn how to use the chgrp commands, follow the guide below:

About chgrp command:

The chgrp command is used by users to change the group ownership of files and folders on Linux filesystems. It allows superuser to change and restrict access to files and directories as well.

Like using your mouse and keyboard to add and remove users access from files and folders in the GUI. the chgrp is the way to do it on the command line.

Linux has tree major groups to apply permissions to. these are:

User  — These permissions apply to a single user who has special access to the file. This user is called the owner.
Group  — These apply to a single group of users who have access to the file. This group is the owning group.
Other  — These apply to every other user on the system. These users are known as others, or the world.

When a file is created, the user automatically is assigned ownership of the file. and the group becomes the user’s default group. However, you can use the chgrp command to change the group of each file or folder.


The syntax is the rule and format of how the chgrp command can be used. the syntax’s options can be reordered. but straight format must be followed.,.

Below is an example syntax of how to use the chgrp command.



The command line options are switches or flags that determined how the commands are executed or controlled. they modify the behavior of the command. they are separated by spaces and followed after the commands options.

Below are some options of the chgrp command:

    FILE.Replace FILE. with the file you want to change it ownership. If the file doesn’t already exist, the command will fail and not execute..
-c, –changesUse the -c or –changes option to report only when a change is made
-f, –silent, –quietUse the -f or –silent, –quiet to suppress most error messages
-R, –recursiveUse the -R or –recursive option to operate on files and directories recursively
-v, –verboseUse the -v or –verbose option to output a diagnostic for every file processed
-h, –helpdisplay this help message and exit


Below are some examples of how to run and use the chgrp on Ubuntu Linux.

If you want to change the ownership of a file named Confidential.txt, to the group name Private, you run the commands below.

chgrp Private Confidential.txt

If you want to change the group ownership of all files and folders in the /office/files directory to the Staff group, you run the commands below:

chgrp -hR Staff /office/files

The commands above change the owning group of /office/files, and all sub-directories, to the group Staff.

If you’re not logged in as a root account, you may have to use the sudo command it it.

chgrp -hR Staff /office/files

To change the ownership and group of an entire directory, including sub-directories, you add the -R option.

When you run chgrp with the –help option, you’ll see the help text below:

Usage: chgrp [OPTION]. GROUP FILE.
  or:  chgrp [OPTION]. --reference=RFILE FILE.
Change the group of each FILE to GROUP.
With --reference, change the group of each FILE to that of RFILE.

  -c, --changes          like verbose but report only when a change is made
  -f, --silent, --quiet  suppress most error messages
  -v, --verbose          output a diagnostic for every file processed
      --dereference      affect the referent of each symbolic link (this is
                         the default), rather than the symbolic link itself
  -h, --no-dereference   affect symbolic links instead of any referenced file
                         (useful only on systems that can change the
                         ownership of a symlink)
      --no-preserve-root  do not treat '/' specially (the default)
      --preserve-root    fail to operate recursively on '/'
      --reference=RFILE  use RFILE's group rather than specifying a
                         GROUP value
  -R, --recursive        operate on files and directories recursively

The following options modify how a hierarchy is traversed when the -R
option is also specified.  If more than one is specified, only the final
one takes effect.

  -H                     if a command line argument is a symbolic link
                         to a directory, traverse it
  -L                     traverse every symbolic link to a directory
  -P                     do not traverse any symbolic links (default)

      --help     display this help and exit
      --version  output version information and exit

  chgrp staff /u      Change the group of /u to "staff".
  chgrp -hR staff /u  Change the group of /u and subfiles to "staff".

That’s it!

Hope you like it and please come back soon for more Ubuntu Linux command!

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