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Files can be locked on OS X by going to the "Get Info" panel for the specific file and clicking the lock button.

I would need to remove locks from a shell script. What unix command can do that?

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Unlock "Locked" flag on a folder recursivly

chflags -R nouchg /folder/path

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Try chflags nouchg YOUR_FILE. To re-enable the lock, chflags uchg YOUR_FILE.

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If you've got xcode installed, /Developer/Tools/SetFile. To unlock:

% SetFile -a l <path>

To lock:

% SetFile -a L <path>

To query, you can use /Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo

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