cp



CP(1)                       General Commands Manual                      CP(1)


NAME

     cp - copy files


SYNOPSIS

     cp [-fip] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] source target
     cp [-fip] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] source ... directory


DESCRIPTION

     In the first synopsis form, the cp utility copies the contents of the
     source file to the target file.  In the second synopsis form, the
     contents of each named source file are copied to the destination
     directory.  The names of the files themselves are not changed.  If cp
     detects an attempt to copy a file to itself, the copy will fail.

     The options are as follows:

     -f      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 -i options.

     -H      If the -R option is also specified, symbolic links on the command
             line are followed.  Symbolic links encountered in the tree
             traversal are not followed.

     -i      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 character `y', the file copy is
             attempted.  The -i option overrides any previous -f options.

     -L      If the -R option is also specified, all symbolic links are
             followed.

     -P      If the -R option is also specified, no symbolic links are
             followed.

     -p      Preserve in the copy as many of the modification time, access
             time, file flags, file mode, user ID, and group ID as allowed by
             permissions.

             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 permissions.

     -R      If source designates a directory, cp copies the directory and the
             entire subtree connected at that point.  Created directories have
             the same mode as the corresponding source directory, unmodified
             by the process's umask.

             This option also causes symbolic links to be copied, rather than
             followed, and special files to be created, rather than being
             copied as normal files.  However, cp copies hard linked files as
             separate files.  To preserve hard links, use a utility such as
             pax(1) or tar(1) instead.

     For each destination file that already exists, its contents are
     overwritten if permissions allow, but its mode, user ID, and group ID are
     unchanged.

     In the second synopsis form, the destination specified by the directory
     operand must exist unless there is only one named source which is a
     directory and the -R 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 (umask, see csh(1)).  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.

     When a file containing large blocks of zero-valued bytes is copied, cp
     will attempt to create a sparse file.

     Symbolic links are always followed unless the -R flag is set, in which
     case symbolic links are not followed, by default.  The -H or -L flags (in
     conjunction with the -R flag) cause symbolic links to be followed as
     described above.  The -H, -L, and -P options are ignored unless the -R
     option is specified.  In addition, these options override each other and
     the command's actions are determined by the last one specified.


EXIT STATUS

     The cp utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


EXAMPLES

     Make a copy of file foo named bar:

           $ cp foo bar

     Copy a group of files to the /tmp directory:

           $ cp *.txt /tmp

     Copy the directory junk and all of its contents (including any
     subdirectories) to the /tmp directory:

           $ cp -R junk /tmp


SEE ALSO

     mv(1), umask(2), fts(3), symlink(7)


STANDARDS

     The cp utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (``POSIX.1'')
     specification.

     Historic versions of the cp utility had a -r option.  This implementation
     supports that option; however, its use is strongly discouraged, as it
     does not correctly copy special files, symbolic links or FIFOs.


HISTORY

     A cp command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

OpenBSD 5.9                     March 19, 2014                     OpenBSD 5.9

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