6

I have a directory with ~100 Gb. I need to copy this directory to other place skipping specific folders (there is a lot of them). The following is a wrong code to demonstrate my needs.

$ cp -r ~/directory_to_copy /path/to/copy --skip=foo --skip=bar

There is an example of result this command. Original directory tree is

~/directory_to_copy
  aaa
    foo
    doo
      bar
  bbb
    ccc
      ddd
        bar
      eee

Copied tree is

/path/to/copy/
  aaa
    doo
  bbb
    ccc
      ddd
      eee

How to write command for my purposes?

1
  • Do you have access to GNU tar?
    – Cyrus
    Aug 5, 2015 at 21:00

2 Answers 2

10

You want rsync:

rsync -va --exclude=foo --exclude=bar ~/directory_to_copy /path/to/copy 

--exclude is used to exclude unwanted files or directories.

-v makes rsync verbose (optional).

-a tells rsync to copy recursively and preserve file attributes. This is optional but, if you don't use -a, you likely want to use -r to copy recursively.

For more complex requirements, both exclude and include options can be specified. It is even possible to change the exclude/include settings from one directory to another by specifying the -F option and placing .rsync-filter files in various locations in the source directory hierarchy. man rsync has details.

3
  • 1
    Actually, -a has the same effect as a bunch of other flags, one of which is -r(--recursive) which is not optional here. Aug 6, 2015 at 6:26
  • 1
    @MatthiasUrlichs Good point. Answer updated with info on -r.
    – John1024
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:46
  • 1
    you can upvote comments, you know ;-) Aug 6, 2015 at 11:02
1

you can use find for that

find -depth ! -wholename '*foo*' ! -wholename '*bar*' -exec cp --parents '{}' /target/dir/ \;

note that you will a) need -depth to make sure you first find the directories that need to be omitted and b) use the --parents option to cp to create the full path while copying.

This will however also skip empty folders as -r in cp cannot be used as then ALL filed would be copied once find comes to ./firstDIR .

2
  • 1
    Why not just path, wholename is less portable too..
    – heemayl
    Aug 6, 2015 at 9:17
  • might as well work, the ! could also be avoided with -prune like in ... -path '*foo*' -o -path '*bar*' -prune -o -exec ...
    – FelixJN
    Aug 6, 2015 at 9:24

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