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How to copy/move to a file with a special character as the 1st char in the filename?

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# 1  
Old 12-08-2008
How to copy/move to a file with a special character as the 1st char in the filename?

I am trying to create files with special characters in its filenames for testing purposes. This is on a Linux RHEL4 but this should also be applicable on a Unix shell.

I am able to create files with special characters in the filenames...e.g.

cp -pv foo.gif \*special.gif
cp -pv foo.gif \

I cannot create this filename:


The cp or mv command thinks that the '-' character specifies a flag.

I've tried the following commands:

cp -pv \-special.txt (this results in a filename of '\-special.txt')
cp -pv '-special.txt' (cp thinks '-special.txt' is an invalid option)
cp -pv '\-special.txt' (the result is the same as \-special.txt)

This might be a simple question but does anyone know how to create a file, either by cp or mv, with a filename that has the dash '-' character as the first character in the filename?
# 2  
Old 12-08-2008
try doing in this way
cp -pv "-filename"

and to remove that you can use
rm -- "-filename"

it worked for me in AIX
# 3  
Old 12-08-2008
The double-quote doesn't work

I tried using double-quotes:

cp -pv "-filename"
That doesn't work on my Linux machine - the cp command still thinks that the -filename is an option, not the destination filename.
# 4  
Old 12-10-2008
For removing
find . -name "-*" -exec rm -f {} \;
# 5  
Old 12-10-2008
Assuming this is on a non-operational system.

cp -p ./-rubbish

To remove file.
rm -i ./-rubbish

You would be advised to not leave files like this on a live server. They upset basic unix commands and backup software.
# 6  
Old 12-26-2008
cp -pv "-filename"
cp: invalid option -- e
Try `cp --help' for more information.

# 7  
Old 12-26-2008
try using the complete path of the file

cp /home/user/-unwanted_file /home/user/useful_file

or find the inode of the file and do the operation

find . -inum | <operation>


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