cp(1) General Commands Manual cp(1)
cp - copy file data
cp [ -f ] [ -i ] [ -p ] file1 file2
cp [ -f ] [ -i ] [ -p ] [ -r ] file... directory
cp [ -f ] [ -i ] [ -p ] [ -r ] directory... directory
The command copies file1 onto file2. The mode and owner of file2 are preserved if it already existed; the mode of file1 is used otherwise.
Note that the command will not copy a file onto itself.
In the second form, one or more files are copied into the directory with their original file names.
In the third form, one or more source directories are copied into the destination directory with their original file names.
-f Forces existing destination pathnames to be removed before copying, without prompting for confirmation. The -i option is ignored if
the -f option is specified.
-i Prompts user with the name of file whenever the copy will cause an old file to be overwritten. A yes answer will cause to continue.
Any other answer will prevent it from overwriting the file.
-p Preserves (duplicates) in the copies the modification time, access time, file mode, user ID, and group ID as allowed by the permis-
sions of the source files, ignoring the present umask.
-r Copies directories. Entire directory trees, including their subtrees and the individual files they contain, are copied to the speci-
fied destination directory. The directory, its subtrees, and the individual files retain their original names. For example, to copy
the directory including all of its subtrees and files, into the directory enter the following command:
cp -r reports news
cat(1), pr(1), mv(1)
Check Out this Related Man Page
cp(1) General Commands Manual cp(1)
cp - Copies files
cp [-fhip] [--] source_file destination_file
cp [-fhip] [--] source_file... destination_directory
cp [-fhip] [-r | -R] [--] [source_file | source_directory]... destination_directory
The cp command copies a source file or the files in a source directory to a destination file or directory. If your source and destination
are directories, the source is copied to the destination and created with the same name.
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.
[Tru64 UNIX] The cp command does not prompt you when an existing file is to be overwritten. (If both -f and -i are specified on the com-
mand line--for example, because an alias includes one of them--whichever appears last overrides the other.) [Tru64 UNIX] Together with
the -R option, the same as the -r option. Prompts you with the name of the file whenever the copy would cause an existing file to be over-
written. An answer beginning with y, or the locale's equivalent of y, causes cp to continue. Any other answer prevents it from overwriting
the file. Preserves for the copy the modification time, access time, file mode, user ID, and group ID of the original, as allowed by per-
missions. If the user ID and group ID cannot be preserved, no error message is displayed and the exit value is not altered. If the origi-
nal is set-user-ID or set-group-ID, and either the user ID or the group ID cannot be preserved, the set-user-ID and set-group-ID bits are
not preserved in the copy's permissions. [Tru64 UNIX] Preserves the extended file attributes (property list), including the access control
list (ACL) if any. When the source is a directory, copies the directory and the entire subtree connected at that point. Special file
types, such as symbolic links, named pipes (FIFOs), and block and character devices, are opened and their contents are copied to regular
files having the same name. (This may be desired for links but is probably not desired for disk, tape, or network devices.) For example, if
a is a symbolic link to file z and a is copied to b with the -r option, b is not a symbolic link to file z but is a copy of it. As with
-r, when the source is a directory, copies the directory and the entire subtree connected at that point. However, destination_files are
created with the same file types as source_files, for instance symbolic links, named pipes (FIFOs), or block or character devices. As an
example, if a is a symbolic link to file z and a is copied to b with the -R option, b will also be a symbolic link to file z. If
source_file is a FIFO, the file permission bits of destination_file are set to those of source_file modified by the file creation mask of
the user if the -p option is not used. Indicates that the arguments following this option are to be interpreted as file names. This null
option allows the specification of file names that start with a minus.
If a destination file already exists, its contents are overwritten if permissions allow, but cp does not change its mode, user ID, or group
ID. However, if the file is not being copied by the root user, writing the file may clear the set-user-ID or set-group-ID permission bits.
If the destination file does not exist, the mode of the source file is used, as modified by the file mode creation mask (umask). If the
source file is either set-user-ID or set-group-ID, those bits are removed unless the -p option is used.
Appropriate permissions are always required for file creation or overwriting.
[Tru64 UNIX] You can also copy special device files. If the file is a named pipe, the data in the pipe is copied into a regular file. If
the file is a device, the file is read until the end of file, and that data is copied into a regular file.
The LC_MESSAGES variable determines the locale's equivalent of y or n (for yes/no queries).
If the source_file is a directory, the following is true: If neither the -R or -r option was specified, an error message is displayed and
source_file is not copied. If the target specified exists and is a file, not a directory, an error message is displayed and source_file is
not copied. If the target does not exist and the -p option is specified, the permission bits of the target directory are set equal to the
source directory bitwise inclusively ORed with S_IRWXU (0700 octal). This means the newly created directory will always allow the owner
read, write and execute permission. If the target does not exist and the -p option is not specified, the permission bits of the target
directory are set equal to the source directory bits, modified by the file creation mask of the user (shuts off the corresponding permis-
sion bits specified in the umask). The resulting permission bits are then ORed with S_IRWXU (0700 octal) which gives the owner read, write
and execute permission. If the target does not exist and cannot be created, an error message is displayed and source_file is not copied.
Do not give the destination the same name as one of the source files. If you specify a directory as the destination, the directory must
already exist. If you are using the -r option to copy the contents of one directory to another, and source_directory contains subdirecto-
ries that do not exist in destination_directory, the subdirectories are created.
The following exit values are returned: Successful completion. An error occurred.
To copy one file to another, enter: cp file1 file2
If file2 exists (and is writable), it is replaced by file1. To copy files to a directory, enter: cp file1 file2 dir1
The dir1 directory must exist. To copy all files in a directory and preserve their modification times, enter: cp -p dir1/* dir2 To
copy a directory tree to another directory, enter: cp -r dir1 dir2
The dir1 tree is created in dir2.
The following environment variables affect the execution of cp: 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: cpio(1), find(1), link(1), ln(1), mv(1), pax(1), tar(1), umask(1)
Files: proplist(4), acl(4)