sudo cp -r "/home/fleamour/Music/Mum's Music" /run/media/fleamour/3732-6531
cp: cannot create regular file '/run/media/fleamour/3732-6531/Mum'\''s Music/Louis Armstrong - At His Very Best/13 - Louis Armstrong; Ella Fitzgerald _ Gee, Baby, Ain'\''t I Good To You?.mp3': Invalid argument
cp: cannot create regular file "/run/media/fleamour/3732-6531/Mum's Music/Various Artists/Good Mood Music/Disc 1 - 08 - The Four Seasons: Spring Allegro.mp3": Invalid argument...

What is the correct syntax? I am losing roughly an album's worth of music this way. This is under Konsole (openSUSE Tumblweed.)

  • 2
    You can use cp, but you need to change the filenames to avoid special characters such as * ? \ : < > | ". I will find a better question/answer to use as a reference. Jun 25, 2017 at 20:50
  • 2
    More info here at serverfault: Which common characters are illegal in Unix and Windows filesystems. If you're using a USB stick with a Windows filesystem on it, the filenames need to follow the Windows conventions. Jun 25, 2017 at 20:57
  • These were ripped with K3b, should I raise a bug?
    – fleamour
    Jun 26, 2017 at 9:07
  • You could ask if they could add a feature to rename tracks to be Windows-friendly, I guess. Jun 26, 2017 at 10:37
  • Feature suggestion? FAT32 default on most car stereos.
    – fleamour
    Jun 26, 2017 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


The syntax of your command is correct. “Invalid argument” from cp usually means that the file name is not valid on the target filesystem. It may be too long, contain a forbidden character, or be a reserved word.

For example Windows filesystems (FAT, NTFS) forbid characters such as : and ? in filenames, so you can't copy these files to a Windows filesystem. There are several workarounds:

  • Use a different filesystem (that Windows doesn't support).
  • Rename the files.
  • Only store an archive (e.g. a zip file) containing the files. Windows won't be able to unpack that archive.
  • 1
    Is there a bulk renaming app?
    – fleamour
    Jun 26, 2017 at 10:39
  • @fleamour Yes there are, including two common commands called rename (with different syntax, so check which one you have). Check questions under the rename tag. Jun 26, 2017 at 11:13
  • I used krename GUI. Can you add this to your answer. Not everyone wanna use terminal, although this is blasphemous to some!
    – fleamour
    Jun 26, 2017 at 12:35
  • Kid3 is perfect for this.
    – fleamour
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:51
  • Or maybe EasyTAG?
    – fleamour
    Jun 28, 2017 at 21:07

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