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I have the following function inside a BASH script (running under Ubuntu 12.x), which would copy over a file with spaces inside the file name. It's not working. I've tried many different combinations, with "', with \", etc. How do I get this to work? Thanks!

function copy_docs()

    cp ${source_directory}/"Some file with spaces.txt" ${release_directory}/


This is what I'm getting as output (from nearly all permutations):

cp: cannot stat `/mnt/someplace/some': No such file or directory
cp: cannot stat `file': No such file or directory
cp: cannot stat `with': No such file or directory
cp: cannot stat `spaces': No such file or directory

marked as duplicate by Gilles shell-script Aug 19 '14 at 23:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Try cp ${source_directory}/"Some\ file\ with\ spaces.txt" ${release_directory}/ – Ramesh Aug 19 '14 at 17:49
  • Do either of your directories have spaces in their names? – Ian D. Scott Aug 19 '14 at 17:58
  • That did not work. It separates the file into 4 different files, attempting to copy four files (i.e. "Some", "file", "with", "spaces"). – Chris Galas Aug 19 '14 at 17:58
  • I don't see why that should not work. Try running it like this, and post your results: set -x; copy_docs; set +x – glenn jackman Aug 19 '14 at 18:14
  • 1
    Your output cp: cannot stat /mnt/someplace/some: No such file or directory does not match the file name in your cp statement. "Some file with spaces.txt" is not the same as "some file with spaces.txt" which is what your output suggests you are attempting to copy. – Timothy Martin Aug 19 '14 at 18:43
cp ${source_directory}/Some\ file\ with\ spaces.txt ${release_directory}/


cp ${source_directory}/'Some file with spaces.txt' ${release_directory}/
  • Neither of those worked. – Chris Galas Aug 19 '14 at 20:29
  • 1
    Have you read Timothy Martin's comment posted after your edit? Are you sure there is "Some", not "some"? If yes then add bash --version and type cp to your question. – jimmij Aug 19 '14 at 21:42

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