I am beginner as far as Linux is concerned and therfore ran into trouble with the following command.

$ cp VRP/share/ViennaRNA/bin/*.

The error I got is as follows:

cp: missing destination file operand after 'VRP/share/ViennaRNA/bin/*.'
Try 'cp --help' for more information.
  • 3
    Could you describe your intention with the copy command? What files do you want to copy where?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Jul 2, 2019 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


You are getting the error because cp is expecting two operands and you are only supplying one.

If you are trying to copy everything from VRP/share/ViennaRNA/bin/* to your current location (as indicated by .) then you're simply missing a space between your * and ..

Try this:

$ cp VRP/share/ViennaRNA/bin/* .

Note that this will skip directories. If you want that, use the -r flag.

  • It will also skip dotfiles (aka "hidden" files: files whose name starts with a period) unless you tell your shell otherwise. In bash, you can set dotglob to include dotfiles in the match: shopt -s dotglob.
    – NickD
    Jul 2, 2019 at 21:17

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