DITTO(1) BSD General Commands Manual DITTO(1)
ditto -- copy directory hierarchies, create and extract archives
ditto [-v] [-V] [-X] [<options>] src ... dst_directory
ditto [-v] [-V] [<options>] src_file dst_file
ditto -c [-z | -j | -k] [-v] [-V] [-X] [<options>] src dst_archive
ditto -x [-z | -j | -k] [-v] [-V] [<options>] src_archive ... dst_directory
ditto -h | --help
In its first form, ditto copies one or more source files or directories to a destination
directory. If the destination directory does not exist it will be created before the first
source is copied. If the destination directory already exists then the source directories
are merged with the previous contents of the destination.
In its second form, ditto copies a file to the supplied dst_file pathname.
The next two forms reflect ditto's ability to create and extract archives. These archives
can be either CPIO format (preferred for unix content) or PKZip (for Windows compatibility).
src_archive (and dst_archive) can be the single character '-', causing ditto to read (write)
archive data from stdin (or to stdout, respectively).
ditto follows symbolic links provided as arguments but does not follow any links as it tra-
verses the source or destination hierarchies. ditto overwrites existing files, symbolic
links, and devices in the destination when these are copied from a source. The resulting
files, links, and devices will have the same mode, access time, modification time, owner,
and group as the source items from which they are copied. Pipes, sockets, and files with
names beginning with .nfs or .afpDeleted will be ignored. ditto does not modify the mode,
owner, group, extended attributes, or ACLs of existing directories in the destination.
Files and symbolic links cannot overwrite directories or vice-versa.
ditto can be used to "thin" Universal Mach-O binaries during a copy. ditto can also copy
files selectively based on the contents of a BOM ("Bill of Materials") file. ditto pre-
serves file hard links (but not directory hard links) present in the source directories and
preserves setuid and setgid modes when run as the superuser.
ditto will preserve resource forks and HFS meta-data information when copying unless
instructed otherwise using --norsrc . Similarly, ditto will preserve extended attributes
and Access Control Lists (ACLs) unless --noextattr or --noacl is passed. DITTONORSRC can be
set in the environment as an alias to --norsrc --noextattr --noacl on the command line.
-h Print full usage.
-v Print a line of output to stderr for each source directory copied.
-V Print a line of output to stderr for every file, symbolic link, and device
-X When copying one or more source directories, do not descend into directories
that have a different device ID.
-c Create an archive at the destination path. The default format is CPIO, unless
-k is given. CPIO archives should be stored in files with names ending in
.cpio. Compressed CPIO archives should be stored in files with names ending
-z Create compressed CPIO archives, using gzip(1) compression.
-j Create compressed CPIO archives, using bzip2(1) compression.
-x Extract the archives given as source arguments. The format is assumed to be
CPIO, unless -k is given. Compressed CPIO is automatically handled.
-k Create or extract from a PKZip archive instead of the default CPIO. PKZip ar-
chives should be stored in filenames ending in .zip.
--keepParent When creating an archive, embed the parent directory name src in dst_archive.
--arch arch Thin Universal binaries to the specified architecture. If multiple --arch
options are specified then the resulting destination file will contain each of
the specified architectures (if they are present in the source file). arch
should be specified as "i386", "x86_64", etc.
--bom bom Copy only files, links, devices, and directories that are present in the spec-
--rsrc Preserve resource forks and HFS meta-data. ditto will store this data in Car-
bon-compatible ._ AppleDouble files on filesystems that do not natively sup-
port resource forks. As of Mac OS X 10.4, --rsrc is default behavior.
--norsrc Do not preserve resource forks and HFS meta-data. If both --norsrc and --rsrc
are passed, whichever is passed last will take precedence. Both options over-
ride DITTONORSRC. Unless explicitly specified, --norsrc also implies
--noextattr and --noacl to match the behavior of Mac OS X 10.4.
--extattr Preserve extended attributes (requires --rsrc). As of Mac OS X 10.5, --extattr
is the default.
--noextattr Do not preserve extended attributes (requires --norsrc).
--qtn Preserve quarantine information. As of Mac OS X 10.5, --qtn is the default.
--noqtn Do not preserve quarantine information.
--acl Preserve Access Control Lists (ACLs). As of Mac OS X 10.5, --acl is the
--noacl Do not preserve ACLs.
--nocache Do not perform copies using the Mac OS X Unified Buffer Cache. Files read and
written will not be cached, although if the file is already present in the
cache, the cached information will be used.
When copying files or extracting content from an archive, if the destination
is an HFS+ volume that supports compression, all the content will be com-
pressed if appropriate. This is only supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or later, and
is only intended to be used in installation and backup scenarios that involve
system files. Since files using HFS+ compression are not readable on versions
of Mac OS X earlier than 10.6, this flag should not be used when dealing with
non-system files or other user-generated content that will be used on a ver-
sion of Mac OS X earlier than 10.6.
Do not compress files with HFS+ compression when copying or extracting content
from an archive unless the content is already compressed with HFS+ compres-
sion. This flag is only supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
--nohfsCompression is the default.
When copying files to an HFS+ volume that supports compression, ditto will
preserve the compression of any source files that were using HFS+ compression.
This flag is only supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
--preserveHFSCompression is the default.
Do not preserve HFS+ compression when copying files that are already com-
pressed with HFS+ compression. This is only supported on Mac OS X 10.6 or
When creating a PKZip archive, preserve resource forks and HFS meta-data in
the subdirectory __MACOSX. PKZip extraction will automatically find these
Sets the compression level to use when creating a PKZip archive. The compres-
sion level can be set from 0 to 9, where 0 represents no compression, and 9
represents optimal (slowest) compression. By default, ditto will use the
default compression level as defined by zlib.
--password When extracting a password-encrypted ZIP archive, you must specify --password
to allow ditto to prompt for a password to use to extract the contents of the
file. If this option is not provided, and a password-encrypted file is encoun-
tered, ditto will emit an error message.
ditto src_directory dst_directory
copies the contents of src_directory into dst_directory, creating dst_directory if it does
not already exist.
ditto src_directory dir/dst_directory
copies the contents of src_directory into dir/dst_directory, creating dir and dst_directory
if they don't already exist.
ditto src-1 ... src-n dst_directory
copies the contents of all of the src directories into dst_directory, creating dst_directory
if it does not already exist.
ditto --arch ppc universal_file thin_file
copies the contents of universal_file into thin_file, thinning executable code to ppc-only
on the fly.
ditto -c --norsrc Scripts -|ssh rhost ditto -x --norsrc - ./Scripts
copies Scripts, skipping any resources or meta-data, to rhost.
pax -f archive.cpio
will list the files in the CPIO archive archive.cpio.
pax -zf archive.cpgz
will list the files in the compressed CPIO archive archive.cpgz.
ditto -c -k --sequesterRsrc --keepParent src_directory archive.zip
will create a PKZip archive similarly to the Finder's Compress functionality.
unzip -l archive.zip
will list the files in the PKZip archive archive.zip.
ditto returns 0 if everything is copied, otherwise non-zero. ditto almost never gives up,
preferring to report errors along the way. Diagnostic messages will be printed to standard
DITTOABORT If the environment variable DITTOABORT is set, ditto will call abort(3) if it
encounters a fatal error.
If DITTONORSRC is set but --rsrc, --extattr, and --acl are not specified, ditto
will not preserve those additional types of metadata.
ditto doesn't copy directories into directories in the same way as cp(1). In particular,
ditto foo bar
will copy the contents of foo into bar, whereas
cp -r foo bar
copies foo itself into bar. Though this is not a bug, some may consider this bug-like behav-
ior. --keepParent for non-archive copies will eventually alleviate this problem.
bom(5), lsbom(8), mkbom(8), cpio(1), zip(1), gzip(1), bzip2(1), tar(1).
Mac OS X December 19, 2008 Mac OS X