Getting the Owner of a File in Linux

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:

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

And a sample run looks like:

$ ./ 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}
Ben Snider

Benjamin Snider

Hi! 👋 I'm Ben and I like to write about technical and nerdy things. Historically about Swift and iOS. But, I've recently started a masters program in computer science (Georgia Tech's OMSCS), so the content here may pivot as such.  Get @me!