If I wanted to stay on the same file system, couldn't I just specify an output path for the same file system?
Or is it to prevent accidentally leaving the current file system?
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It limits where files are copied from, not where they’re copied to. It’s useful with recursive copies, to control how
cp descends into subdirectories. Thus
cp -xr / blah
will only copy the root file system, not any of the other file systems mounted.
cp -x documentation (although its distinction is subtle).
-x flag to
cp is a GNU extension. When copying a single file, this option will have no effect, but when copying a whole file hierarchy, the
-x option prevents the copying of files and directories that do not live on the same filesystem as the original source.
For example, on a filesystem with mount points at
cp -xR /usr /some-dest would not copy the hierarchy under
There are other utilities with an
-x option with similar semantics, such as
find (the flag is called