Moving and Copying Files

By Danny Kalev, ITworld |  How-to

Copying Files
The cp command takes two parameters:

cp source destination

Where source is the file being copied and destination is the name of the
file into which the source is copied. In the following example, a file
called project is copied to a new file called oldproject:

$cp project oldproject

Using cp as in the example above is dangerous because it might overwrite
an existing file. To avoid this, use the -i option:

$cp -i project oldproject

In this case, cp first checks if a file called oldproject already
exists. If it does, cp will ask you if you want to overwrite the
existing file:

Overwrite oldporject?

If you enter 'y', the original file will be destroyed and a new copy of
project called oldproject will be created.

To copy a file to another directory, supply the target directory as the
second parameter:

$cp -i project team

In this example, cp creates a new file called project under the
directory team.

cp can copy several files at once. When there are more than 2
parameters, the last parameter is the target directory. In the following
example, the user copies the files intro, chapter1 and appendix into the
directory primer:

$cp intro chapter1 appendix primer

Similarly, you can use wildcards to copy multiples files. In the
following example, cp copies all the files in the src directory that
have a .c extension to the srcbackup directory:

$cp src/*.c srcbackup

To copy a directory and its subdirectories, use the -r (r is for
"recursive") option. The -r option ensures that the entire directory
subtree will be copied to the destination, as the following example
shows:

$cp -r usr/projects oldproejcts
$ls -F usr
/projects
$ls -F oldprojects
/projects

Moving Files
The mv command moves a file to a different location or changes its name.
mv takes two parameters:

mv originalname target

When both parameters refer to the same directory, mv renames the file.
In the following example, the file menu.c is renamed menu.cpp:

$mv menu.c menu.cpp

As with the cp command, use the -i option to avoid accidental file
deletion.

To move a file from the current directory to another, use the
destination directory as the second parameter:

$mv menu.h headers

If you want to move and rename the file, provide a new name after the
destination directory:

$mv driver.h headers/test.h

To move all the files of a given directory to another directory, use
wildcards:

$mv *.* newsrc

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