setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly)


On this document we will be showing a java example on how to use the setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File Class. This method sets the owner’s or everybody’s execute permission for this abstract pathname. On some platforms it may be possible to start the Java virtual machine with special privileges that allow it to execute files that are not marked executable.

The Files class defines methods that operate on file attributes including file permissions. This may be used when finer manipulation of file permissions is required.


  • SecurityException – If a security manager exists and its SecurityManager.checkWrite(java.lang.String) method denies write access to the file.

Method Syntax

public boolean setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly)

Method Argument

Data Type Parameter Description
boolean executable If true, sets the access permission to allow execute operations; if false to disallow execute operations
boolean ownerOnly If true, the execute permission applies only to the owner’s execute permission; otherwise, it applies to everybody. If the underlying file system can not distinguish the owner’s execute permission from that of others, then the permission will apply to everybody, regardless of this value.

Method Returns

This method returns boolean, true if and only if the operation succeeded. The operation will fail if the user does not have permission to change the access permissions of this abstract pathname. If executable is false and the underlying file system does not implement an execute permission, then the operation will fail.


Requires Java 1.6 and up

Java File setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly) Example

Below is a java code demonstrates the use of setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class. The example presented might be simple however it shows the behaviour of the setExecutable(boolean executable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class.

Basically we basically set a file as executable and we put a check if the operation succeeded or not.



 * This example source code demonstrates the use of  
 * setExecutable(boolean writable, boolean ownerOnly) method of File class.

public class FileSetExecutableExample1 {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		// initialize File object
		File file = new File("C:javatutorialhqinputtest_file.txt");		
		// check first if file exist
			// set file as executable considering if the user is the owner or not
			boolean result = file.setExecutable(true, false);			
			// evaluate the result
				System.out.println("Operation succeeded");
				System.out.println("Operation failed");
			System.out.println("File does not exist");

Sample Output

Below is the sample output when you run the above example.

java lang File setExecutable(boolean writable, boolean ownerOnly) example output