CP(1) - Linux man page online | User commands

Copy files and directories.

January 2018
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 too. -a, --archive same as -dR --preserve=all --attributes-only don't copy the file data, just the attributes --backup[=CONTROL] make a backup of each existing destination file -b like --backup but does not accept an argument --copy-contents copy contents of special files when recursive -d same as --no-dereference --preserve=links -f, --force if an existing destination file cannot be opened, remove it and try again (this option is ignored when the -n option is also used) -i, --interactive prompt before overwrite (overrides a previous -n option) -H follow command-line symbolic links in SOURCE -l, --link hard link files instead of copying -L, --dereference always follow symbolic links in SOURCE -n, --no-clobber do not overwrite an existing file (overrides a previous -i option) -P, --no-dereference never follow symbolic links in SOURCE -p same as --preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps --preserve[=ATTR_LIST] preserve the specified attributes (default: mode,ownership,timestamps), if possible additional attributes: context, links, xattr, all --no-preserve=ATTR_LIST don't preserve the specified attributes --parents use full source file name under DIRECTORY -R, -r, --recursive copy directories recursively --reflink[=WHEN] control clone/CoW copies. See below --remove-destination remove each existing destination file before attempting to open it (contrast with --force) --sparse=WHEN control creation of sparse files. See below --strip-trailing-slashes 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 des‐ tination file is missing -v, --verbose explain what is being done -x, --one-file-system stay on this file system -Z set SELinux security context of destination file to default type --context[=CTX] like -Z, or if CTX is specified then set the SELinux or SMACK security context to CTX --help display this help and exit --version 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 behavior selected by --sparse=auto. Spec‐ ify --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. When --reflink[=always] is specified, perform a lightweight copy, where the data blocks are copied only when modified. If this is not possible the copy fails, or if --reflink=auto is specified, fall back to a standard copy. The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_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.


GNU coreutils online help: <> Report cp translation bugs to <>
Copyright © 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation at: <> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) cp invocation'
GNU coreutils 8.28 January 2018 CP(1)
This manual Reference Other manuals
cp(1) referred by acl(5) | caspar(7) | cat(1plan9) | cpuset(4) | cpuset(7) | csp_helper(1) | dccp(1) | enca(1) | fcomp(1) | File::Copy(3perl) | gcp(1) | gdbm(3) | gentoo(1x) | gio(1) | guestfs-recipes(1) | hxcopy(1) | hxtools(7) | icmd(1) | installit(1) | kanif(1)
refer to
Download raw manual
Index User Commands (+6086) GNU coreutils 8.28 (+105) № 1 (+39907)
Go top