I try to chown the owner of a file to root, but I can't. I'm doing this as root. I get the following message:
chown: changing ownership of `ps': Operation not permitted
Funny. Did you check the system logs (/var/log/messages, /var/log/syslog, output of dmesg) for any clues?
I had the same problem with a directory, though the problem was that the folder was hosted on an NFS server with
root_squash enabled. In that case, if you have root access to the NFS server, just run
chown from there.
If you have the same problem but don't have root on the NFS server (only on the client), then (if you are responsible and know what you are doing) an alternative would be to become the user that owns the local folder (
sudo su user.name) on the client and then run
chown. (Note: becoming the local user might be overstepping your boundary as an admin though so make sure you know what you are doing).