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


 
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# 1  
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 \ blank.space.start.gif

I cannot create this filename:

-special.filename.txt

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

I've tried the following commands:

cp -pv foo.bar \-special.txt (this results in a filename of '\-special.txt')
cp -pv foo.bar '-special.txt' (cp thinks '-special.txt' is an invalid option)
cp -pv foo.bar '\-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  
try doing in this way
Code:
cp -pv foo.bar "-filename"

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

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

I tried using double-quotes:

cp -pv foo.bar "-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  
For removing
find . -name "-*" -exec rm -f {} \;
# 5  
Assuming this is on a non-operational system.

cp -p foo.bar ./-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  
Code:
cp -pv foo.bar "-filename"
cp: invalid option -- e
Try `cp --help' for more information.

# 7  
try using the complete path of the file

Code:
cp /home/user/-unwanted_file /home/user/useful_file

or find the inode of the file and do the operation

Code:
find . -inum | <operation>

 

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