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Linux 2.6 - man page for mv (linux section 1posix)

MV(P)				    POSIX Programmer's Manual				    MV(P)

NAME
       mv - move files

SYNOPSIS
       mv [-fi] source_file target_file

       mv [-fi] source_file... target_file

DESCRIPTION
       In  the	first  synopsis form, the mv utility shall move the file named by the source_file
       operand to the destination specified by the  target_file.  This	first  synopsis  form  is
       assumed	when  the final operand does not name an existing directory and is not a symbolic
       link referring to an existing directory.

       In the second synopsis form, mv shall move each file named by a source_file operand  to	a
       destination  file in the existing directory named by the target_dir operand, or referenced
       if target_dir is a symbolic link referring to an existing directory. The destination  path
       for  each  source_file  shall be the concatenation of the target directory, a single slash
       character, and the last pathname component  of  the  source_file.   This  second  form  is
       assumed when the final operand names an existing directory.

       If any operand specifies an existing file of a type not specified by the System Interfaces
       volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, the behavior is implementation-defined.

       For each source_file the following steps shall be taken:

	1. If the destination path exists, the -f option is not specified, and either of the fol-
	   lowing conditions is true:

	    a. The  permissions  of  the  destination path do not permit writing and the standard
	       input is a terminal.

	    b. The -i option is specified.

       the mv utility shall write a prompt to standard error and read a line from standard input.
       If  the response is not affirmative, mv shall do nothing more with the current source_file
       and go on to any remaining source_files.

	2. The mv utility shall perform actions equivalent to the rename()  function  defined  in
	   the	System Interfaces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, called with the following argu-
	   ments:

	    a. The source_file operand is used as the old argument.

	    b. The destination path is used as the new argument.

       If this succeeds, mv shall do nothing more with the current source_file and go on  to  any
       remaining  source_files.  If this fails for any reasons other than those described for the
       errno [EXDEV] in the System Interfaces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, mv  shall  write	a
       diagnostic message to standard error, do nothing more with the current source_file, and go
       on to any remaining source_files.

	3. If the destination path exists, and it is a file of type directory and source_file  is
	   not a file of type directory, or it is a file not of type directory and source_file is
	   a file of type directory, mv shall write a diagnostic message to  standard  error,  do
	   nothing more with the current source_file, and go on to any remaining source_files.

	4. If  the destination path exists, mv shall attempt to remove it.  If this fails for any
	   reason, mv shall write a diagnostic message to standard error, do  nothing  more  with
	   the current source_file, and go on to any remaining source_files.

	5. The	file  hierarchy  rooted  in  source_file  shall be duplicated as a file hierarchy
	   rooted in the destination path. If source_file or any of the files  below  it  in  the
	   hierarchy  are  symbolic  links,  the  links themselves shall be duplicated, including
	   their contents, rather than any files to which they refer.  The following characteris-
	   tics of each file in the file hierarchy shall be duplicated:

	    * The time of last data modification and time of last access

	    * The user ID and group ID

	    * The file mode

       If  the	user  ID, group ID, or file mode of a regular file cannot be duplicated, the file
       mode bits S_ISUID and S_ISGID shall not be duplicated.

       When files are duplicated to another file system, the implementation may require that  the
       process invoking mv has read access to each file being duplicated.

       If the duplication of the file hierarchy fails for any reason, mv shall write a diagnostic
       message to standard error, do nothing more with the current source_file, and go on to  any
       remaining source_files.

       If  the	duplication  of  the  file characteristics fails for any reason, mv shall write a
       diagnostic message to standard error, but this failure shall not cause mv  to  modify  its
       exit status.

	6. The	file hierarchy rooted in source_file shall be removed. If this fails for any rea-
	   son, mv shall write a diagnostic message to the standard error, do nothing  more  with
	   the current source_file, and go on to any remaining source_files.

OPTIONS
       The  mv utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Sec-
       tion 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.

       The following options shall be supported:

       -f     Do not prompt for confirmation if the destination path exists. Any previous  occur-
	      rence of the -i option is ignored.

       -i     Prompt  for confirmation if the destination path exists. Any previous occurrence of
	      the -f option is ignored.

       Specifying more than one of the -f or -i options shall not be  considered  an  error.  The
       last option specified shall determine the behavior of mv.

OPERANDS
       The following operands shall be supported:

       source_file
	      A pathname of a file or directory to be moved.

       target_file
	      A new pathname for the file or directory being moved.

       target_dir
	      A pathname of an existing directory into which to move the input files.

STDIN
       The  standard  input shall be used to read an input line in response to each prompt speci-
       fied in the STDERR section. Otherwise, the standard input shall not be used.

INPUT FILES
       The input files specified by each source_file operand can be of any file type.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of mv:

       LANG   Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that  are	unset  or
	      null. (See the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Inter-
	      nationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used
	      to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL If  set  to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other interna-
	      tionalization variables.

       LC_COLLATE

	      Determine the locale for the behavior of ranges, equivalence  classes,  and  multi-
	      character  collating  elements  used in the extended regular expression defined for
	      the yesexpr locale keyword in the LC_MESSAGES category.

       LC_CTYPE
	      Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text  data  as
	      characters  (for	example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in argu-
	      ments and input files), the behavior of character classes used in the extended reg-
	      ular expression defined for the yesexpr locale keyword in the LC_MESSAGES category.

       LC_MESSAGES
	      Determine  the  locale  for  the processing of affirmative responses that should be
	      used to affect the format and contents of diagnostic messages written  to  standard
	      error.

       NLSPATH
	      Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES .

ASYNCHRONOUS EVENTS
       Default.

STDOUT
       Not used.

STDERR
       Prompts	shall  be  written  to	the  standard error under the conditions specified in the
       DESCRIPTION section. The prompts shall contain the destination pathname, but their  format
       is otherwise unspecified.  Otherwise, the standard error shall be used only for diagnostic
       messages.

OUTPUT FILES
       The output files may be of any file type.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION
       None.

EXIT STATUS
       The following exit values shall be returned:

	0     All input files were moved successfully.

       >0     An error occurred.

CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS
       If the copying or removal of source_file is prematurely terminated by a signal  or  error,
       mv  may	leave  a partial copy of source_file at the source or destination. The mv utility
       shall not modify both source_file and the destination path simultaneously; termination  at
       any point shall leave either source_file or the destination path complete.

       The following sections are informative.

APPLICATION USAGE
       Some  implementations mark for update the st_ctime field of renamed files and some do not.
       Applications which make use of the st_ctime field may behave differently with  respect  to
       renamed files unless they are designed to allow for either behavior.

EXAMPLES
       If  the	current directory contains only files a (of any type defined by the System Inter-
       faces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001), b (also of any type), and a directory c:

	      mv a b c
	      mv c d

       results with the original files a and b residing in the directory d in the current  direc-
       tory.

RATIONALE
       Early  proposals  diverged from the SVID and BSD historical practice in that they required
       that when the destination path exists, the -f option is not specified, and input is not	a
       terminal,  mv  fails. This was done for compatibility with cp. The current text returns to
       historical practice. It should be noted that this is consistent with the rename() function
       defined	in  the  System Interfaces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, which does not require
       write permission on the target.

       For absolute clarity, paragraph (1), describing the behavior of mv when prompting for con-
       firmation, should be interpreted in the following manner:

	      if (exists AND (NOT f_option) AND
		  ((not_writable AND input_is_terminal) OR i_option))

       The -i option exists on BSD systems, giving applications and users a way to avoid acciden-
       tally unlinking files when moving others. When the standard input is not a  terminal,  the
       4.3 BSD mv deletes all existing destination paths without prompting, even when -i is spec-
       ified; this is inconsistent with the behavior of the 4.3 BSD cp utility, which always gen-
       erates  an error when the file is unwritable and the standard input is not a terminal. The
       standard developers decided that use of -i is a request for interaction, so when the  des-
       tination  path  exists,	the utility takes instructions from whatever responds to standard
       input.

       The rename() function is able to move directories within the same file system.  Some  his-
       torical	versions  of  mv  have been able to move directories, but not to a different file
       system. The standard developers considered that this was  an  annoying  inconsistency,  so
       this  volume  of  IEEE Std 1003.1-2001  requires  directories  to be able to be moved even
       across file systems. There is no -R option to confirm that moving a directory is  actually
       intended, since such an option was not required for moving directories in historical prac-
       tice. Requiring the application to specify it sometimes,  depending  on	the  destination,
       seemed just as inconsistent. The semantics of the rename() function were preserved as much
       as possible. For example, mv is not permitted to "rename" files to  or  from  directories,
       even though they might be empty and removable.

       Historic  implementations  of  mv  did  not  exit with a non-zero exit status if they were
       unable to duplicate any file characteristics when moving a file across file  systems,  nor
       did  they  write a diagnostic message for the user. The former behavior has been preserved
       to prevent scripts from breaking; a diagnostic message is now required, however,  so  that
       users are alerted that the file characteristics have changed.

       The exact format of the interactive prompts is unspecified. Only the general nature of the
       contents of prompts are specified because  implementations  may	desire	more  descriptive
       prompts than those used on historical implementations. Therefore, an application not using
       the -f option or using the -i option relies on the system to  provide  the  most  suitable
       dialog directly with the user, based on the behavior specified.

       When  mv is dealing with a single file system and source_file is a symbolic link, the link
       itself is moved as a consequence of the dependence on the rename() functionality, per  the
       DESCRIPTION.  Across file systems, this has to be made explicit.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS
       None.

SEE ALSO
       cp , ln , the System Interfaces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, rename()

COPYRIGHT
       Portions  of  this  text  are  reprinted  and  reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std
       1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology  --  Portable	Operating  System
       Interface  (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by
       the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and  The  Open  Group.  In  the
       event  of  any  discrepancy  between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group
       Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The orig-
       inal Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .

IEEE/The Open Group			       2003					    MV(P)


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