[Techtalk] In Search Of A Script to Change Attributes Of Files

John Clarke johnc+linuxchix at kirriwa.net
Mon Dec 1 17:28:03 EST 2003

On Sun, Nov 30, 2003 at 08:24:00PM -0800, Cynthia Kiser wrote:

> I generally don't want the same permissions for files as directories
> so I often do something like the following to change permissions only
> on the files: 
> find . -type f -print | xargs chmod 664 {} \;
> That will start from the current directory and change all of the files
> to have permissions of rw-rw-r--. 

If you want to do something similar, but keep execute permissions on
those files which already have it, you can use:

    chmod -R o=rX,ug=rwX .

The options mean:
    -R          recursive
    o           other users
        =rX     set permission to read, and, if the file is executable
                by anyone (i.e. any one of the three x bits set) or is
                a  directory, execute (r-- or r-x)
    ug          the file's user and group
        =rwX    set permission to read and write, and, if the file is
                executable by anyone or is a directory, execute (rw- or

The result is either 775 (executables and directories) or 664 (other


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