cp, mv, rm, ln, cpdir, clone - copy, move, remove, link

     cp [-pifsmrRvx] file1 file2
     cp [-pifsrRvx] file ... dir

     mv [-ifsmvx] file1 file2
     mv [-ifsvx] file ... dir

     rm [-ifrRvx] file ...

     ln [-ifsSmrRvx] file1 file2
     ln [-ifsSrRvx] file ... dir

     cpdir [-ifvx] file1 file2

     clone [-ifsSvx] file1 file2

     The utilities cp, mv, rm, and  ln  do  basic  file  management:  copying,
     renaming  or  moving, deletion, and creating links.  (The cpdir and clone
     utilities are easy to use aliases for copying  or  linking  whole  trees.
     They are the same as cp -psmr and ln -fmr)

     The first synopsis form of the utilities cp, mv, and ln is used  if  only
     two arguments are given, and the second argument is not a directory.  The
     source and target file are then the two files given.

     If the second synopsis form is used then the  last  argument  must  be  a
     directory.   Each  of  the  files  is  copied,  moved or linked into this

     A file is by default copied  by  cp  without  looking  at  its  type,  so
     symlinks are followed and devices are opened and read from or written to.
     Links between files are ignored.  This behavior can be changed  by  using
     the proper options.

     The mv utility uses the rename(2) call  to  rename  or  move  files.   If
     source  and  target are on different devices however, then mv will use cp
     -pr to copy the files or directory trees.

     Each utility continues with the  next  file  on  errors,  except  on  I/O


     -p   Copy the file attributes like mode, owner, group and  time  of  last
          modification.   Normally  only the mode is copied to a new file with
          the file creation mask applied.  Setuid bits are cleared if  setting
          the ownership fails.

     -i   Ask if ok to overwrite, replace or remove.  Mv and rm will ask  this
          automatically  if  interactive  and the target file is writable.  Cp
          will fail if the target cannot be written, ln will  always  fail  if
          the target exists.

     -f   Makes cp remove a target file before copying if it is not  writable,
          mv removes an existing target without asking, rm does not report any
          errors, and ln removes an existing target file before linking.   The
          last  of  -i  and  -f  wins  for mv if both flags are set, the other
          utilities do  something  sensible,  like  asking  before  forcefully

     -s   Make a symlink instead of a normal link.  For utilities  other  than
          ln  this  flag  means  "copy  similar".  The modified time is always
          copied for cp -s and the other attributes are copied if a  new  file
          is created.  The normal POSIX required patronizing like applying the
          file creation mask or clearing setuid bits is not done.

     -S   Make a symlink if a normal link cannot be made  because  source  and
          target  are on different devices.  The symlink is required to really
          refer back to the source, meaning that a/b must exist in the call ln
          -S a/b c/d, and that the symlink from c/d must lead back to a/b.  So
          the symlink will be created as if ln -s ../a/b c/d was  called.   If
          the  target is a full path, but the source is not then an error will
          be given saying that this is "too difficult."

     -m   Merge trees.  The first synopsis form is assumed, and the files from
          one  tree  are  merged  into  the  other.   There  is  no "if it's a
          directory the put it into that directory" trickery here.

     -r, -R
          Recursively copy, remove, or link.  If the  source  is  a  directory
          then the files in this directory are copied to similarly named files
          in the target directory.  Special files are copied  as  new  special
          files,  they  are  not read or written.  Symlinks are still expanded
          and the link structure ignored with  -R.   The  -r  flag  does  copy
          symlinks  as  symlinks  and  keeps the link structure intact.  (Note
          that -R is invented by POSIX as a replacement  for  the  classic  -r
          option  of  older  copy  commands  that did read special files.  The
          standard says that -r is implementation defined, so that's why  this
          flag is better than -R in this implementation of cp.)  For rm and ln
          both flags mean the same.  Ln will recursively link the files in the
          trees,  except  symlinks,  they are copied.  If symlinks are created
          with ln -rs or ln -rS then they are required "to work" as  described
          with the -S flag.

     -v   Verbose.  Show what is done on standard output.

     -x   Do not cross mount points.  Empty directories will be created if the
          source  directory is a mount point on a copy, move or link.  A mount
          point will not be  removed  or  traversed  recursively.   This  flag
          allows one to copy the root device, e.g.  cpdir -x / /mnt.

     cat(1),  mkdir(1),  rmdir(1),  mkdir(2),  rmdir(2),  link(2),  unlink(2),
     rename(2), open(2), read(2), write(2), opendir(3).

     All the utilities described are links to the same program.

     Mv should first copy a tree across devices and  then  remove  the  source
     tree if there was no error.  Instead, each file in the tree is copied and
     immediately removed.  On error you  may  be  left  with  two  half-filled
     trees, together containing all of the files.  You may have to restart the
     move with mv -m.

     Rm should be able to remove arbitrarily deep trees.

     Kees J. Bot (kjb@cs.vu.nl)