In order to memorize a command, it is usually a good idea to learn where it's name comes from. For example, cp comes from copy. usermod means "User Modifiy" (at least I guess so).

Where does chmod come from, what does it mean?

  • 5
    Wikipedia is your friend for these: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chmod. Believe it or not there are topics for most of the commands.
    – slm
    May 9 '14 at 2:09
  • You are right, it's say so right in the beginning
    – felknight
    May 9 '14 at 2:23
  • 2
    Consult the man pages, there is a wealth of information given in them. In your case, "man chmod".
    – delta24
    May 9 '14 at 3:18
change mode

It is the full form of the command. So basically you are changing the mode set as something to some other thing.

Read only permission to Read/Write permission, revoking read/write permission to just read only permission etc.

  • 3
    You're not IMO changing read to write or anything like that. You are just modifying the permissions for read/write/execute. May 9 '14 at 7:39
  • @PavelŠimerda, Thanks for pointing it out. I have edited the answer :)
    – Ramesh
    May 9 '14 at 14:34
  • 4
    When thinking about the terminology, it may also be helpful to know that permissions are stored together with file type (regular-file, directory, pipe, char-device, block-device, etc.) in a single integer field which is usually called the "mode" of the file. (struct stat's st_mode in userspace; struct inode's i_mode in the kernel).
    – user41515
    May 10 '14 at 13:44

CHange MODe.

[root@localhost /]# apropos -e chmod -s 1
chmod (1)            - change file mode bits
[root@localhost /]#

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