cp - Command-line tool to copy a file

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128
votes
7answers
216k views

How do I copy a folder keeping owners and permissions intact?

So I was going to back up my home folder by copying it to an external drive as follows: sudo cp -r /home/my_home /media/backup/my_home With the result that all folders on the external drives are ...
82
votes
8answers
94k views

Is it possible to see cp speed and % copied?

I'm having problems when copy large files using nautilus (it gets stuck) so I need to copy using cp. I would like to know if there is any parameter that shows the % copied and also the transfer ...
37
votes
5answers
24k views

Difference Between cp -r and cp -R (copy command)

cp- r is meant to copy files recursively, and cp -R for copying directories recursively. But I've checked, and both appear to copy both files and directories, the same thing. So, what's the difference ...
36
votes
3answers
9k views

Why doesn't cp have a progress bar like wget?

Please note that I don't ask how. I already know options like pv and rsync -P. I want to ask why doesn't cp implement a progress bar, at least as a flag ?
35
votes
4answers
51k views
34
votes
3answers
26k views

Why unix mv program doesn't need -R (recursive) option for directories but cp does need it?

This is a kind of "wtf?" question, so I'm sorry if I will disturb someone's vision of how things should be or if I will just annoy you with the "stupid" question. I always get messed up when need to ...
30
votes
11answers
34k views

Is there a faster alternative to cp for copying large files (~20 GB)?

I am a graduate student, and the group in which I work maintains a Linux cluster. Each node of the cluster has its own local disk, but these local disks are relatively small and are not equipped with ...
28
votes
10answers
48k views

How to check progress of running cp?

Is it possible to check the progress of running cp process? Some processes respond to various KILL signals so that you can check what is their status. I know that I can run cp with parameter -v but ...
27
votes
6answers
988 views

How to copy a folder recursively in an idempotent way using cp?

When I use cp -R inputFolder outputFolder the result is context-dependent: if outputFolder does not exist, it will be created, and the cloned folder path will be outputFolder. if outputFolder ...
27
votes
3answers
9k views

Flattening a nested directory

This is probably very simple, but I can't figure it out. I have a directory structure like this (dir2 is inside dir1): /dir1 /dir2 | --- file1 | --- file2 What is ...
22
votes
5answers
32k views

Copy specific file type keeping the folder structure

I have a folder structure with a bunch of *.csv files scattered across the folders. Now I want to copy all *.csv files to another destination keeping the folder structure. It works by doing: cp ...
20
votes
4answers
989 views

Surprised by behavior of cp with hardlinks

I understand the notion of hardlinks very well, and have read the man pages for basic tools like cp --- and even the recent POSIX specs --- a number of times. Still I was surprised to observe the ...
20
votes
3answers
24k views

Using rsync to move (not copy) files between directories?

I have been using rsync to copy files for some time. My understanding is that rsync is faster than cp when some of the files to transfer are already in the destination directory, transferring only the ...
19
votes
4answers
16k views

What is the purpose of the 'install' command?

I've seen the install command used in a lot of Makefiles, and its existence and usage are kind of confusing. From the manpages, it seems like a knockoff of cp with less features, but I assume it ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between * and *.* while copying?

What is the difference between following 2 commands? cp -rp /dir1/*.* /dir2/ cp -rp /dir1/* /dir2/
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Why use diff/patch when it is easier to just use cp

diff -u file1.txt file2.txt > patchfile creates a patch file which consists of instruction for patch to convert file1.txt to be exactly like file2.txt As the title says, Can't this be done using ...
17
votes
5answers
16k views

How to copy directories with preserving hardlinks?

How to move directories that have files in common from one to another partition ? Let's assume we have partition mounted on /mnt/X with directories sharing files with hardlinks. How to move such ...
17
votes
2answers
42k views

Difference between cp -r and cp -a

Looking for the difference between cp -r and cp -a? What does recursive mean in terms of copying files from a folder?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Why not always use rsync?

I wanted to ask is there any reason not to use rsync for everything and abandon cp? I wasn't aware of rsync and now I don't know why cp is ever needed.
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if a file is modified while you're copying it?

What is the effect of copying a file say fileA.big (900mb) from location B to locationC. If during that cp operation, say 35% through the process, fileA.big is appended with new information and grows ...
15
votes
5answers
45k views

How to append date to backup file

I need to make a backup of a file, and I would like to have a timestamp as part of the name to make it easier to differentiate. How would you inject the current date into a copy command? ...
13
votes
3answers
602 views

How is install different from cp?

How is install different from a simple copy, cp or dd? I just compiled a little utility and want to add it to /usr/sbin so it becomes available via my PATH variable. Why use one vs the other?
12
votes
3answers
9k views

copy recursively except hidden directory

How do I copy recursively like cp -rf *, but excluding hidden directories (directories starting with .) and their contents?
12
votes
5answers
862 views

copy smallest files first?

I have a large directory containing subdirectories and files that I wish to copy recursively. Is there any way to tell cp that it should perform the copy operation in order of file size, so that the ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

How does “cp” handle open files?

I'm having two separate directories. The user loads a file into the first. Theres a cronjob running in the background which copies the files every 5 minutes over to the second directory. What happens ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Copying a single file to multiple directories using cp

This question is a sequel of sorts to my earlier question, Creating numerous directories using mkdir. I am using the bash shell. I have created fifty directories, each starting with the prefix "s", ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How to copy every 4th file in a folder

I have a lot of files in a folder, named like 00802_Bla_Aquarium_XXXXX.jpg. Now I need to copy every 4th file to a subfolder, saying in selected/. 00802_Bla_Aquarium_00020.jpg <= this one ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How to replace a symbolic link with a copy of a file it links to?

Having a (single, no batch filesystem processing needed) symlink, what a command line to use to replace it with a copy of the file it links to?
10
votes
1answer
7k views

cannot create regular file 'filename': File exists

I've been getting this strange error message in one of my build scripts - cp fails, returning the error "File exists". I've even tried using cp -f, which should overwrite the file if it exists, but ...
10
votes
1answer
13k views

Unzip file contents, but without creating archive folder

I have a file myarchive.zip that contains many directories, files, etc. Let's say this myarchive.zip file lives in a directory called "b". Well, when I use the "unzip myarchive.zip" command, the ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

cp with a single argument containing wildcards [duplicate]

If I have the following 2 files and 1 folder: someuser@computer:~/Desktop/test$ ls -l total 340 -rw-r--r-- 1 someuser someuser 45082 ago 5 09:56 file1.pdf -rw-r--r-- 1 someuser someuser 291836 ago ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

pv for directory copy

I need to copy a very large directory (talking in terabytes here) and want to monitor the progress. I found that pv is a nice utility, but how can I use it for copying directories recursively? (pv ...
9
votes
2answers
383 views

Why do `cp` and `rm` treat directories separately?

Why do tools like cp and rm treat directories separately from regular files? They both require the user to explicitly specify she wants a recursive behavior, or else they won't deal with directories ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

cp or rsync, is cp really worth it?

I hope this does not count as a question without a real answer, as I can't seem to find a good reason to use cp(1) over rsync(1) in virtually all circumstances. Should one typically favour rsync over ...
8
votes
3answers
21k views

Copy first n files in a different directory [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to move 100 files from a folder containing thousands? Is it possible to copy only the first 1000 files from a directory to another? Thanks in advance
8
votes
1answer
385 views

cp says it's removing files, but shouldn't be

Making a quick backup: root@guilmon:/mnt/backup/guilmon/home# cp -uvfrx --preserve=all /home/rena/ . The output is surprising - some files are said to be removed! removed ...
8
votes
2answers
24k views

How do I copy a symbolic link?

I have a symbolic link to a file in one directory. I would like to have that same link in another directory. How do I copy a symbolic link? I tried to cp the symbolic link but this copies the file ...
8
votes
1answer
136 views

Is there a way to express: `--link` or fall back to ordinary copy in cp (from GNU coreutils)?

Is there a way to tell cp to --link (i.e. create hard links), but fall back in the case where I am attempting inter-device hardlinks? Inter-device links aren't possible and would cause cp to fail. ...
8
votes
3answers
994 views

rsync most recent x GB

I'm looking for a command/script to allow the most recently modified files (up to) 10GB be copied to another computer. So if there are 4 files 4 GB each, only 2 of them should be transferred by the ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

tar files from another directory without copying them

This should be very simple for experts in here. I have a Linux account with user disk quota of only 6GB. There is some data-folder in /opt with about 3GB of data with when compressed comes up 1GB. ...
8
votes
1answer
81 views

How to duplicate a file without copying its data with btrfs?

I have no experience with btrfs, but it's advertised to be able to de-duplicate files. In my application, I'd need to duplicate whole directory trees. From what I learned, btrfs only de-duplicates ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

cp or mv files to same directory they are already in when I am in another?

If I am in ~/blob and I have a file in ~/blob/a_long_directory_name/c/x.x I can type mv blob/a_long_directory_name/c/x.x blob/a_long_directory_name/even_more/y.y Is there any shortcut whereby I ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

How to copy all html files from a directory tree to a single directory?

I want to copy all the .html files in myDir and its subdirectories to ~/otherDir. Here's what I tried (it doesn't work): $ find myDir -name *.html -print | xargs -0 cp ~/otherDir usage: cp [-R [-H | ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

rsync is very slow (factor 8 to 10) compared to cp on copying files from nfs-share to local dir

I have a freshly installed Ubuntu-server which is ought to be the new backup-server for our VM-storage. The server has 4 nics, 2 of them 10Gbit (in fact an intel x540-T2 with the newest driver ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

`cp -al` snapshot whose hard links get directed to a new file when edited

I am trying to take snapshots of a massive folder regularly. I have read here: http://www.mikerubel.org/computers/rsync_snapshots/#Incremental that cp -al takes a snapshot of a folder by simply ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

Strange behaviour in recursive copy

Could someone explain why this happens? Most specifically: Why is one 1's content copied to f? And why is f copied to g? $ tree . 0 directories, 0 files $ mkdir 1 $ mkdir 2 $ touch 1/a $ touch ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

Copy multiple files from filename X to filename Y?

I'm pretty noob when it comes to unix commands. What I want to do is to copy files within a lexicographic range. Example of files: -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 15276 Oct 5 2004 a2ps.cfg -rw-r--r-- ...
7
votes
3answers
66 views

How to prevent cp from merging two identically-named directories?

I have two identically-named directories: $ ls mydir file1 file2 $ ls other/mydir file3 file4 If I copy mydir to other, the two mydirs get merged: $ cp -r mydir other $ ls other/mydir file1 ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Minimal command to make a copy of a file [duplicate]

I often find myself copy-pasting long path in order to create a copy of a file cp /path/to/file/file1 /path/to/file/file1.bkp Is there an alternative utility that will NOT require me to type the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to alias cp with cp -i by default

Is there a good way to alias the command cp file1 file2 to cp -i file1 file2? Apologies if this is a dumb question, I'm a Unix novice.