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MV(1) BSD General Commands Manual MV(1)
mv -- move files
mv [-f | -i | -n] [-v] source target
mv [-f | -i | -n] [-v] source ... directory
In its first form, the mv utility renames the file named by the source operand to the desti-
nation path named by the target operand. This form is assumed when the last operand does
not name an already existing directory.
In its second form, mv moves each file named by a source operand to a destination file in
the existing directory named by the directory operand. The destination path for each oper-
and is the pathname produced by the concatenation of the last operand, a slash, and the
final pathname component of the named file.
The following options are available:
-f Do not prompt for confirmation before overwriting the destination path. (The -f
option overrides any previous -i or -n options.)
-i Cause mv to write a prompt to standard error before moving a file that would over-
write an existing file. If the response from the standard input begins with the
character 'y' or 'Y', the move is attempted. (The -i option overrides any previous
-f or -n options.)
-n Do not overwrite an existing file. (The -n option overrides any previous -f or -i
-v Cause mv to be verbose, showing files after they are moved.
It is an error for either the source operand or the destination path to specify a directory
unless both do.
If the destination path does not have a mode which permits writing, mv prompts the user for
confirmation as specified for the -i option.
As the rename(2) call does not work across file systems, mv uses cp(1) and rm(1) to accom-
plish the move. The effect is equivalent to:
rm -f destination_path && \
cp -pRP source_file destination && \
rm -rf source_file
The mv utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
cp(1), rm(1), symlink(7)
The -n and -v options are non-standard and their use in scripts is not recommended.
The mv utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible.
A mv command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
BSD July 9, 2002 BSD
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