MV(1) General Commands Manual MV(1)NAME
mv - move or rename a file
mv [-ifsmvx] file1 file2
mv [-ifsvx] file ... directory
OPTIONS -i Prompt before removing existing files
-f Do not prompt before removing existing files
-s Do not clear any mode bits if owner can't be set
-m Merge directory trees
-v Tell what mv is doing
-x Do not cross device boundaries
mv oldname newname # Move oldname to newname
mv file1 file2 /user/ast
# Move two files to /user/ast
Mv moves one or more files from one place in the file system to another. If the old path and new path are on the same device, it is done
by renaming otherwise by copying. If you're not superuser, the copy will destroy the file's owner, group and setuid/setgid bits. mv will
prompt before removing non-writable files if stdin is a terminal or the -i flag was specified.
SEE ALSO cp(1), rename(2).
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mv(1) General Commands Manual mv(1)NAME
mv - Moves files and directories
mv [-i | -f] [--] file1 file2
mv [-i | -f] [--] file1... directory
mv [-i | -f] [--] directory1... destination_directory
The mv command moves files from one directory to another or renames files and directories.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards as follows:
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about industry standards and associated tags.
Overrides the -i option and any mode restrictions. (If both -f and -i are specified--for example, because an alias includes one of
them--whichever appears last overrides the other.) Prompts you with the name of the file followed by a question mark whenever a move is to
supersede an existing file. If the answer begins with y, or the locale's equivalent of a y, the move continues. Any other reply prevents
the move from occurring. (If both -f and -i are specified--for example, because an alias includes one of them--whichever appears last over-
rides the other.) Interprets all following arguments to mv as file names. This allows file names to start with a - (dash).
If you move a file to a new directory, mv retains the original file name. When you move a file, all other links to the file remain intact.
In the second form, one or more files are moved to directory with their original file names. In the third form, one or more directories
are moved to the destination directory with their original names.
The mv command does not move a file onto itself.
When you use mv to rename a file, the target file can be either a new file name or a new directory path name. If moving the file would
overwrite an existing file that does not have write permission set and if standard input is a terminal, mv displays the permission code of
the file to be overwritten and reads one line from standard input. If the line begins with y, or the locale's equivalent of a y, the move
takes place and the file is overwritten. If not, mv does nothing with the file.
When you use mv to move a directory into an existing directory, the directory and its contents are added under the existing directory.
The LC_MESSAGES variable determines the locale's equivalent of y or n (for yes/no queries).
If a mv operation fails, mv generally writes a diagnostic message to standard error, does nothing more with the current source file, and
goes on to process any remaining source files.
If the copying or removal of a file is prematurely terminated by a signal or error, mv might leave a partial copy of the file at either the
source or the target path name. The mv program does not modify the source and target path names simultaneously; therefore, program termina-
tion at any point always leaves either the source file or the target file complete.
[Tru64 UNIX] If the source is on a different file system than the destination, mv must copy the source to the destination's file system
and then delete the source. The effect is equivalent to the following: rm -f destination && cp -pr source destination && rm -rf source The
mv command might overwrite existing files. Specify the -i option last on the command line to cause the mv command to prompt you before it
moves a file.
The following exit values are returned: All files were moved successfully. An error occurred.
To rename a file, enter: mv file1 file2
This renames file1 to file2. If a file named file2 already exists, its old contents are replaced with those of file1. To move a
directory, enter: mv dir1 dir2
This moves dir1 to dir2. It moves dir1 and all files and directories under dir1 to the directory named dir2, if the second direc-
tory exists. Otherwise, the directory dir1 gets renamed dir2. To move a file to another directory and give it a new name, enter:
mv file1 dir1/file2
This moves file1 to dir1/file2. The name file1 is removed from the current directory, and the same file appears as file2 in the
directory dir1. To move a file to another directory, keeping the same name, enter: mv file1 dir1
This moves file1 to dir1/file1. To move several files into another directory, enter: mv file1 dir1/file2 /u/dir2
This moves file1 to /u/dir2/file1 and dir1/file2 to /u/dir2/file2. To use mv with pattern-matching characters, enter: mv dir1/* .
This moves all files in the directory dir1 into the current directory (.), giving them the same names they had in dir1. This also
empties dir1. Note that you must type a space between the * (asterisk) and the (dot).
The following environment variables affect the execution of mv: Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that are
unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization vari-
ables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of the variables had been defined. If set to a non-empty string value,
overrides the values of all the other internationalization variables. Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes
of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multibyte characters in arguments). Determines the locale for the for-
mat and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error. Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
Commands: cp(1), ln(1), rm(1)