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On Linux (Debian, Ubuntu Mint...),
Is there any option command or something that I can use to transfer files to another user without having to do :

sudo mv /home/poney/folderfulloffiles /home/unicorn/
sudo chown -R unicorn:unicorn /home/unicorn/folderfulloffiles
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3 Answers 3

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Use rsync(1):

rsync \
  --remove-source-files \
  --chown=unicorn:unicorn \
    /home/poney/folderfulloffiles /home/unicorn/
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Thanks @dawud - this is my daily "stuff I didn't know and can't understand how I missed it" –  Jenny D Apr 15 at 10:04
@JennyD you might want to take a look at the usermap and groupmap options as well. –  dawud Apr 15 at 10:09
But this doesn't mv it, right? Only copies? Or does it mv it? –  mikeserv Apr 15 at 11:00
@mikeserv duly noted, see my edit –  dawud Apr 15 at 11:03
Thanks, man. That definitely does do it. –  mikeserv Apr 15 at 11:17

Per @Kevin in the comments below, the --file - |pipe syntax is redundant. So I've removed it.

This can also be done with tar:

sudo tar -C${SRC_DIR} --remove-files --group=unicorn --owner=unicorn -c ./* | 
    sudo tar -C${TGT_DIR} -pvx
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Pretty sure the -f - is implied on both ends. –  Kevin Apr 15 at 21:09
@Kevin Not here. Here it's specified. –  mikeserv Apr 15 at 21:16
Yes, you specified it, but it's not necessary. Your command works fine without the f - part. –  Kevin Apr 15 at 21:31
s=/home/poney/; f=folderfulloffiles; d=/home/unicorn/ 
sudo mv $s$f $d && sudo chown -R unicorn:unicorn $d$f

About the same length as the other answers, and note since they're all using the same library calls under the hood, they're all doing exactly the same thing -- unless, as Gilles notes, this is on the same filesystem and device, in which case mv is really a rename, which makes it more efficient than rsync or tar.

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It isn't a : instead of a . when dealing with chown ? –  Kiwy Apr 15 at 12:54
Hmmm -- interesting. It's that way in the man page, but I've always used a dot. Looks like they took it out of the GNU man page about a decade ago because it's not POSIX portable. Still works though (with the chown from GNU coreutils on linux), but I'll change that above. –  goldilocks Apr 15 at 13:03
chown typically takes both : and .. –  slm Apr 15 at 13:07
You could do it a little shorter: nu=unicorn h=/home f=folderfulloffiles ; sudo mv $h/poney/$f $h/$nu/$f ; sudo chown -R ${nu}:$nu $_ - though that's hardly the point of your answer, which is good and I've already upvoted. –  mikeserv Apr 15 at 13:13
This solution has the advantage that if the source and the destination are on the same filesystem, the file is moved rather than copied and the original erased. –  Gilles Apr 15 at 22:22

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