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Copy one or more files to another location

Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY.

      cp [OPTION]... SOURCE DEST


  -a, --archive                same as -dpR

  -b, --backup                 make backup before removal

  -d, --no-dereference         preserve links

  -f, --force                  remove existing destinations, never prompt

  -i, --interactive            prompt before overwrite

  -l, --link                   link files instead of copying

  -p, --preserve               preserve file attributes if possible

  -P, --parents                append source path to DIRECTORY

  -r                           copy recursively, non-directories as files

      --sparse=WHEN            control creation of sparse files

  -R, --recursive              copy directories recursively

  -s, --symbolic-link          make symbolic links instead of copying

  -S, --suffix=SUFFIX          override the usual backup suffix

  -u, --update                 copy only when the SOURCE file is newer
                                 than the destination file or when the
                                 destination file is missing

  -v, --verbose                explain what is being done

  -V, --version-control=WORD   override the usual version control

  -x, --one-file-system        stay on this file system
      --help                   display this help and exit
      --version                output version information and exit.

Example - copy home directory to floppy

$ cp -f /mnt/floppy/* /home/simon

By default, sparse SOURCE files are detected by a crude heuristic and the corresponding DEST file is made sparse as well.

That is the behavior selected by --sparse=auto.
Specify --sparse=always to create a sparse DEST file whenever the SOURCE file contains a long enough sequence of zero bytes.

Use --sparse=never to inhibit creation of sparse files.

The backup suffix is ~, unless set with SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX.

The version control may be set with VERSION_CONTROL, values are: t, numbered make numbered backups nil, existing numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise never, simple always make simple backups

As a special case, cp makes a backup of SOURCE when the force and backup options are given and SOURCE and DEST are the same name for an existing, regular file.

"I've been going to Bible classes. They're teaching me to be more judgmental" - Flanders' wife

Related commands:

dd - Data Dump - convert and copy a file (use for RAW storage)
copy - Copy groups of files in directories
install - Copy files and set attributes
mv - Move files
rsync - Remote file copy (Synchronize file trees)
tar - store or extract files to an archive (allows symbolic links to be copied as links)