chcon — change file security context



chcon [OPTION...] [ −u USER ] [ −r ROLE ] [ −l RANGE ] [ −t TYPE ] FILE...

chcon [OPTION...] −−reference=RFILE FILE...


Change the security context of each FILE to CONTEXT. With −−reference, change the security context of each FILE to that of RFILE.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.


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

−u, −−user=USER

set user USER in the target security context

−r, −−role=ROLE

set role ROLE in the target security context

−t, −−type=TYPE

set type TYPE in the target security context

−l, −−range=RANGE

set range RANGE in the target security context


do not treat '/' specially (the default)


fail to operate recursively on '/'


use RFILE's security context rather than specifying a CONTEXT value

−R, −−recursive

operate on files and directories recursively

−v, −−verbose

output a diagnostic for every file processed

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.


if a command line argument is a symbolic link to a directory, traverse it


traverse every symbolic link to a directory encountered


do not traverse any symbolic links (default)


display this help and exit


output version information and exit


Written by Russell Coker and Jim Meyering.


Report chcon bugs to bug−

GNU coreutils home page: <>

General help using GNU software: <>

Report chcon translation bugs to <>


The full documentation for chcon is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and chcon programs are properly installed at your site, the command

  • info coreutils 'chcon invocation'

should give you access to the complete manual.


Copyright © 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.