Changing file ownership

bool chown ( string filename, mixed user)

The chown() function is quite rarely used in PHP as you require special privileges to change the ownership of a file, and only crazy people run their web server with any privileges beyond reading the public HTML directory. However, on the command-line chown() is helpful now and then, and it attempts to change the file passed in parameter one so that it is owned by the user specified in parameter two. On success, true is returned, otherwise false. The second parameter can either be a username or a user ID number.

Note that chown() only works on local filesystems.

    if (chown("myfile.txt", "sally")) {
        print "File owner changed.\n";
    } else {
        print "File ownership change failed!\n";


Want to learn PHP 7?

Hacking with PHP has been fully updated for PHP 7, and is now available as a downloadable PDF. Get over 1200 pages of hands-on PHP learning today!

If this was helpful, please take a moment to tell others about Hacking with PHP by tweeting about it!

Next chapter: Working with directories >>

Previous chapter: Setting permissions

Jump to:


Home: Table of Contents

Copyright ©2015 Paul Hudson. Follow me: @twostraws.