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On this page you find all important commands for the CLI tool chattr. If the command you are looking for is missing please ask our AI.


The chattr command is a powerful command-line tool found in Unix-like operating systems, like Linux. It stands for "change file attributes" and is used to modify the attributes of files or directories. Here are ten important points about the chattr command:

  1. The chattr command allows users to set or remove certain attributes on files or directories, providing additional control and security.
  2. It can be used by system administrators to prevent accidental deletion or modification of critical files by making them immutable.
  3. The command requires root or superuser privileges to execute, as it involves modifying file system attributes.
  4. Commonly used attributes are +i (immutable), +a (append-only), +u (undeletable), +s (secured deletion), +c (compression), and many more.
  5. When a file is made immutable using the +i attribute, even the root user cannot modify or delete it until the attribute is removed.
  6. The +a attribute allows files to be modified, but only by appending data. It prevents existing content from being overwritten.
  7. Chattr attributes can provide an extra layer of protection against malware, ransomware, or accidental file changes.
  8. The attributes set by chattr are stored at the file system level, ensuring they persist even if the file is moved or copied.
  9. The chattr command is commonly used in conjunction with other commands like lsattr (to list current attributes) and rm (to remove attributes).
  10. It is crucial to use the chattr command with caution, as incorrect usage can lead to unintended consequences or make files permanently inaccessible.

Overall, the chattr command is a powerful tool that allows users to modify file system attributes, providing additional control and security for files and directories.

List of commands for chattr:

  • chattr:tldr:07868 chattr: Make a file or directory immutable to changes and deletion, even by superuser.
    $ chattr +i ${filename_or_directory}
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  • chattr:tldr:6cdf6 chattr: Recursively make an entire directory and contents immutable.
    $ chattr -R +i ${path-to-directory}
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  • chattr:tldr:7e834 chattr: Make a file or directory mutable.
    $ chattr -i ${filename_or_directory}
    try on your machine
    explain this command
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