CHMOD (chmod) is a UNIX oriented command that means “Changing Mode.” It lets you change the mode (hence the name) of the file, or directory(ies) depending on how the chmod command is used. When I say “changing mode,” I mean giving the file a different permission scheme, respectively read, write, and execute. This command, by the way, is one of the most useful and most used commands in Linux.
Before getting into syntax and the whys of the whole chmod command, I want to get one thing straight. Changing modes do not exist to this extent in MS Windows. There is a similar model that Windows uses in its Management and Active Directory services, using users and groups. In UNIX/Linux it’s quite a bit different though. chmod is not used in MS Windows. In MS Windows, the attrib command is used, and is (again) quite different from chmod.
Another point I would like to make is, as much as I am a proud MS Windows user, the UNIX/Linux commands that are offered are far more powerful than those offered by MS Windows. There are more options in UNIX/Linux. For example, switches are case sensitive, so you can have even more switches than in MS Windows, as MS Windows is not case sensitive. This is just a minor comparison and contrast between UNIX/Linux and MS Windows.
The main reason I’m not comparing the Mac is because I really haven’t had much experience with it. I'm also not comparing it because the Mac uses Darwin Linux. This is simply a different flavor of Linux (BSD), so most of the UNIX/Linux commands will more than likely work with a Mac.