07. Copying, Moving and Renaming Files and Directories cp

Copying files

To copy a file into another directory, use the cp command with the file name as the first argument, and the target path name as the second.

$ cp fileName destination

You may rename the file by attaching it to the end of the path.

$ cp fileName destination/newFileName

This takes a file, and sends a copy of it to the specified path, with the new file name.

And to copy into the same directory with a new name:

$ cp fileName newFileName

Copying Directories

To copy directories and the contents within, we must apply the -r option, which is the command to copy recursively.

The following command would copy all contents of dir1 into dir2.

$ cp -r dir1 dir2     

Copying multiple files in one go!

We can copy multiple items at once into a directory. As long as the last argument is the path name, we're good.

$ cp file1 file2 file3 pathName

Additional options

Here are some additional options for fine-tuning.

-f
Force overwriting.
-i
Interactive mode. The program will ask before overwriting any files.
-p
Preserves ownership and permissions.
-a
Perform archive. Preserves ownership and copies links as is.
-u
Update. Only copy the file if original is newer than target (or if target does not exist).

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