Looking for the difference between cp -r and cp -a? What does recursive mean in terms of copying files from a folder?
Recursive means that
The -r or -R option for "recursive" means that it will copy all of the files including the files inside of subfolders.
The -a option as listed is the same as -dR which means it will preserve links as well as copy the contents of subdirectories. What it means by preserving links is that it will not follow links as it is recursively copying.