Man Page Minute – cp

CP(1) User Commands CP(1)
cp – copy files and directories
Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options
-a, –archive
same as -dpR
make a backup of each existing destination file
-b like –backup but does not accept an argument
copy contents of special files when recursive
-d same as –no-dereference –preserve=link
-f, –force
if an existing destination file cannot be opened, remove it and
try again
-i, –interactive
prompt before overwrite
-H follow command-line symbolic links
-l, –link
link files instead of copying
-L, –dereference
always follow symbolic links
-P, –no-dereference
never follow symbolic links
-p same as –preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps
preserve the specified attributes (default: mode,owner
ship,timestamps) and security contexts, if possible; additional
attributes: links, all
dont preserve the specified attributes
use full source file name under DIRECTORY
-R, -r, –recursive
copy directories recursively
remove each existing destination file before attempting to open
it (contrast with –force)
control creation of sparse files
remove any trailing slashes from each SOURCE argument
-s, –symbolic-link
make symbolic links instead of copying
-S, –suffix=SUFFIX
override the usual backup suffix
-t, –target-directory=DIRECTORY
copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY
-T, –no-target-directory
treat DEST as a normal file
-u, –update
copy only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination
file or when the destination file is missing
-v, –verbose
explain what is being done
-x, –one-file-system
stay on this file system
–help display this help and exit
-Z, –context=CONTEXT
set security context of copy to CONTEXT
output version information and exit
By default, sparse SOURCE files are detected by a crude heuristic and
the corresponding DEST file is made sparse as well. That is the behav
ior selected by –sparse=auto. Specify –sparse=always to create a
sparse DEST file whenever the SOURCE file contains a long enough
sequence of zero bytes. Use –sparse=never to inhibit creation of
sparse files.
The backup suffix is ~, unless set with –suffix or SIM
PLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the
–backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable.
Here are the values:
none, off
never make backups (even if –backup is given)
numbered, t
make numbered backups
existing, nil
numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
always make simple backups
As a special case, cp makes a backup of SOURCE when the force and
backup options are given and SOURCE and DEST are the same name for an
existing, regular file.
Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.
Report bugs to <[email protected]>.
Copyright 2005 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the
terms of the GNU General Public License
<>. There is NO WARRANTY, to the
extent permitted by law.
The full documentation for cp is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If
the info and cp programs are properly installed at your site, the com
info cp
should give you access to the complete manual.
cp 5.93 November 2005 CP(1)

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