cp, fcp, mv – copy, move files

cp [ –gux ] file1 file2
cp [ –gux ] file ... directory

fcp [ –gux ] file1 file2
fcp [ –gux ] file ... directory

mv file1 file2
mv file ... directory

In the first form file1 is any name and file2 is any name except an existing directory. In the second form the commands copy or move one or more files into a directory under their original file names, as if by a sequence of commands in the first form. Thus cp f1 f2 dir is equivalent to cp f1 dir/f1; cp f2 dir/f2.

Cp copies the contents of plain file1 to file2. The mode and owner of file2 are preserved if it already exists; the mode of file1 is used otherwise. The –x option sets the mode and modified time of file2 from file1; –g sets the group id; and –u sets the group id and user id (which is usually only possible if the file server is in an administrative mode).

Fcp behaves like cp but transfers multiple blocks in parallel while copying; it is noticeably faster than cp when the files involved are stored on servers connected over long–distance lines. It is only appropriate to use fcp with file servers that respect the offset in read(5) and write messages. This includes the disk–based file systems and ramfs but excludes most device file systems.

Mv moves file1 to file2. If the files are in the same directory, file1 is just renamed; otherwise mv behaves like cp –x followed by rm file1. Mv will rename directories, but it refuses to move a directory into another directory.


cat(1), dircp in tar(1), stat(2), read(5)

Cp, fcp, and mv refuse to copy or move files onto themselves.
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