From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

chattr is a command in the Linux operating system that allows a user to set certain attributes on a file residing on many Linux file systems. chflags is the analogous command on modern BSD systems, including OS X. The commands are similar to the attrib command on DOS, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows. Other Unix systems have no analogous commands; Solaris supports extended file attributes, but there are no user level commands for setting or changing them, and the chatr command in HP-UX, and chattr in AIX have unrelated functions.

chattr and lsattr utilities on Linux and the attributes they manipulate were originally specific to the Second Extended Filesystem family (ext2, ext3, ext4), and are available as part of the e2fsprogs package. The functionality has since been extended to many other Linux file systems, including XFS, ReiserFS, JFS, OCFS2 and others, although not all file systems support all flags.

chflags is not specific to particular file systems; UFS on BSD systems, and HFS+, SMB, AFP, and FAT on OS X support chflags for at least some flags.

Among other things, the command can be used to make files immutable so that password files and certain system files cannot be erased during software upgrades.[1]


The form of the chattr command is:

chattr [-RVf] [-+=AacDdijsSu] [-v version] files...
  • -R is to recurse all subdirectories
  • +i is to set the immutable bit to prevent even root from erasing or changing the contents of a file.
  • -i is to unset the immutable bit

The form of the chflags command is:

 chflags [-R [-H | -L | -P]] flags file ...
  • -H If the -R option is specified, symbolic links on the command line are followed. (Symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal are not followed.)
  • -L If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.
  • -P If the -R option is specified, no symbolic links are followed. This is the default.
  • -R Change the file flags for the file hierarchies rooted in the files instead of just the files themselves.

Attributes (chattr)[edit]

Some attributes include:

Attributes (chflags)[edit]

Some attributes include: