[Python-ideas] Add shutil.chown(..., recursive=False)

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Tue May 29 03:15:37 EDT 2018

On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 06:29:50PM +1200, Greg Ewing wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >But it doesn't matter: regular users can call chown -R:
> Only if you're not actually telling it to change anything.

That's not correct. Look closely at my example: the file ownership 
recursively changed from steve.steve to steve.users.

> % ls -l foo.txt
> -rw-r--r--  1 greg  users  1 29 May 18:19 foo.txt
> % chown greg foo.txt
> % chown fred foo.txt
> chown: foo.txt: Operation not permitted

And yet Python provides a chown function despite this alleged 
uselessness. Maybe it's not quite so useless as you think?

Here's a thought... maybe sometimes people actually do run Python 
scripts as root?

And as the comments to this Stackoverflow post explain:


the ability for unprivileged users to change ownership to another user 
is configurable under POSIX.

> So you have to be root in order to do anything *useful*
> with it.

Fortunately that is not correct, but even if it were, that's no reason 
to not allow chown to apply recursively.


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