source_file ... target_directory
In the first synopsis form, the
copies the contents of the source_file
. In the second synopsis form, the
contents of each named source_file
to the destination target_directory
names of the files themselves are not changed. If
detects an attempt to copy a file to
itself, the copy will fail.
The following options are available:
- If the
-R option is specified, symbolic
links on the command line are followed. (Symbolic links encountered in the
tree traversal are not followed.)
- If the
-R option is specified, all
symbolic links are followed.
- If the
-R option is specified, no
symbolic links are followed. This is the default.
- If source_file designates a directory,
cp copies the directory and the entire
subtree connected at that point. If the
source_file ends in a
/, the contents of the directory are
copied rather than the directory itself. This option also causes symbolic
links to be copied, rather than indirected through, and for
cp to create special files rather than
copying them as normal files. Created directories have the same mode as
the corresponding source directory, unmodified by the process' umask.
cp copies hard linked files as
separate files. If you need to preserve hard links, consider using
- Archive mode. Same as
- For each existing destination pathname, remove it and create a new file,
without prompting for confirmation regardless of its permissions. (The
-f option overrides any previous
cp to write a prompt to the
standard error output before copying a file that would overwrite an
existing file. If the response from the standard input begins with the
Y’, the file copy is attempted.
-i option overrides any previous
- Create hard links to regular files in a hierarchy instead of copying.
- Do not overwrite an existing file. (The
-n option overrides any previous
cp to preserve the following
attributes of each source file in the copy: modification time, access
time, file flags, file mode, ACL, user ID, and group ID, as allowed by
If the user ID and group ID cannot be preserved, no error message is
displayed and the exit value is not altered.
If the source file has its set-user-ID bit on and the user ID cannot be
preserved, the set-user-ID bit is not preserved in the copy's permissions.
If the source file has its set-group-ID bit on and the group ID cannot be
preserved, the set-group-ID bit is not preserved in the copy's
permissions. If the source file has both its set-user-ID and set-group-ID
bits on, and either the user ID or group ID cannot be preserved, neither
the set-user-ID nor set-group-ID bits are preserved in the copy's
- Create symbolic links to regular files in a hierarchy instead of
cp to be verbose, showing files
as they are copied.
- File system mount points are not traversed.
For each destination file that already exists, its contents are overwritten if
permissions allow. Its mode, user ID, and group ID are unchanged unless the
option was specified.
In the second synopsis form, target_directory
must exist unless there is only one named
which is a directory and the
flag is specified.
If the destination file does not exist, the mode of the source file is used as
modified by the file mode creation mask
If the source file has its set-user-ID bit on, that bit is removed unless both
the source file and the destination file are owned by the same user. If the
source file has its set-group-ID bit on, that bit is removed unless both the
source file and the destination file are in the same group and the user is a
member of that group. If both the set-user-ID and set-group-ID bits are set,
all of the above conditions must be fulfilled or both bits are removed.
Appropriate permissions are required for file creation or overwriting.
Symbolic links are always followed unless the
flag is set, in which case symbolic
links are not followed, by default. The
flags (in conjunction with the
flag) cause symbolic links to be
followed as described above. The
options are ignored unless the
option is specified. In addition, these
options override each other and the command's actions are determined by the
last one specified.
signal, the current input and output file and the percentage complete will be
written to the standard output.
utility exits 0 on success,
and >0 if an error occurs.
Make a copy of file foo
$ cp foo bar
Copy a group of files to the /tmp
$ cp *.txt /tmp
Copy the directory junk
and all of its
contents (including any subdirectories) to the
$ cp -R junk /tmp
Historic versions of the
utility had a
option. This implementation supports
that option, however, its behavior is different from historical
behavior. Use of this option is strongly
discouraged as the behavior is implementation-dependent. In
and works the same unless
modified by other flags. Historical implementations of
differ as they copy special files as
normal files while recreating a hierarchy.
options are non-standard and their use
in scripts is not recommended.
command is expected to be
IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”)
command appeared in
Version 1 AT&T UNIX