Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
CP(1)                   FreeBSD General Commands Manual                  CP(1)

NAME
     cp -- copy files

SYNOPSIS
     cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f | -i | -n] [-lpv] source_file target_file
     cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f | -i | -n] [-lpv] source_file ...
        target_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 con-
     tents of each named source_file is copied to the destination
     target_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 following options are available:

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

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

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

     -R    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 spe-
           cial files rather than copying them as normal files.  Created
           directories have the same mode as the corresponding source direc-
           tory, unmodified by the process' umask.

           Note that cp copies hard linked files as separate files.  If you
           need to preserve hard links, consider using tar(1), cpio(1), or
           pax(1) instead.

     -f    For each existing destination pathname, remove it and create a new
           file, without prompting for confirmation regardless of its permis-
           sions.  (The -f option overrides any previous -i or -n options.)

     -i    Cause 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 character `y' or
           `Y', the file copy is attempted.  (The -i option overrides any pre-
           vious -f or -n options.)

     -l    Create hard links to regular files in a hierarchy instead of copy-
           ing.

     -n    Do not overwrite an existing file.  (The -n option overrides any
           previous -f or -i options.)

     -p    Cause cp to preserve the following attributes of each source file
           in the copy: 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 can-
           not 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.

     -v    Cause cp to be verbose, showing files as they are copied.

     For each destination file that already exists, its contents are overwrit-
     ten if permissions allow.  Its mode, user ID, and group ID are unchanged
     unless the -p option was specified.

     In the second synopsis form, target_directory must exist unless there is
     only one named source_file which is a directory and the -R flag is speci-
     fied.

     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 ful-
     filled or both bits are removed.

     Appropriate permissions are required for file creation or overwriting.

     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.

     If cp receives a SIGINFO (see the status argument for stty(1)) signal,
     the current input and output file and the percentage complete will be
     written to the standard output.

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

COMPATIBILITY
     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 fifo's.

     The -v and -n options are non-standard and their use in scripts is not
     recommended.

SEE ALSO
     mv(1), rcp(1), umask(2), fts(3), symlink(7)

STANDARDS
     The cp command is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compati-
     ble.

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

FreeBSD 6.2                     August 24, 2006                    FreeBSD 6.2

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | EXIT STATUS | COMPATIBILITY | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS | HISTORY

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=cp&sektion=1&manpath=FreeBSD+6.2-RELEASE>

home | help