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CHFLAGS(1) General Commands Manual CHFLAGS(1)

chflagschange file flags

chflags [-R [-H | -L | -P]] flags file ...

The chflags utility modifies the file flags of the listed files as specified by the flags operand. The flags of a file dictate special restrictions beyond those enforced by its mode/permissions. Only the superuser can change the user flags on block and character devices.

You can use ls -lo to see the flags of existing files.

The options are as follows:

If the -R option is also specified, symbolic links on the command line are followed. (Symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal are not followed.)
If the -R option is also specified, all symbolic links are followed.
If the -R option is also specified, no symbolic links are followed.
Recursively descend through any specified directory arguments. Change the flags of the file hierarchies rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves.

Flags are a comma separated list of keywords. The following keywords are currently defined:

arch	set the archived flag (superuser only)
nodump	set the nodump flag (owner or superuser only)
sappnd	set the system append-only flag (superuser only)
schg	set the system immutable flag (superuser only)
uappnd	set the user append-only flag (owner or superuser only)
uchg	set the user immutable flag (owner or superuser only)

The “arch” flag is for compatibility only, and currently has no effect.

A file with the “nodump” flag set will by default only be backed up by dump(8) during full backups. The -h option of dump(8) can be used to alter this.

An immutable file may not be changed, moved, or deleted. An append-only file is immutable except that data may be appended to it.

The superuser-settable “sappnd” and “schg” flags can be set at any time, but may only be cleared when the system is running at security level 0 or -1 (insecure or permanently insecure mode, respectively). For more information on setting the system security level, see securelevel(7).

Putting the letters “no” before a flag name causes the flag to be turned off. For example:

nouchg the immutable bit should be cleared

Symbolic links do not have flags, so unless the -H or -L option is set, chflags on a symbolic link always succeeds and has no effect. The -H, -L, and -P options are ignored unless the -R option is specified. In addition, these options override each other and the command's actions are determined by the last one specified.

The chflags utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

ls(1), chflags(2), stat(2), fts(3), securelevel(7), symlink(7), dump(8)

The chflags command first appeared in 4.4BSD.

September 3, 2010 OpenBSD-5.3