Getting the Owner of a File in Linux

Posted on Mon 25 February 2008 in Development

Ran across this problem where I needed root to execute a script as whoever owns it. The solution is simple and should work most everywhere. Basically it just uses the standard "stat" program and uses the print formatting option to only output the name of the owner. Here I use bash to get the owner:

#!/bin/bash
username=`stat ${1} --printf %U`
echo "The owner of ${1} is ${username}";
exit 0;

And a sample run looks like:

$ ./whoOwnsIt.sh testfile.txt
The owner of testfile.txt is ben.

Making root run it as the user's owner is then trivially done with:

su ${username} ${cmd}