cp stands for copy. It’s used to copy files or groups of files or directories. It creates an exact image
of a file on a disk with a different filename.
cp [Options] Source Destination
The most basic scenario of using
cp is to copy a file in the current working directory.
To copy a file named
new_file.txt, enter the following.
cp file.txt new_file.txt
If the destination file doesn’t exist, the system creates it. But if it exists, then it’s simply overwritten without any warning.
You can use the
-i option to warn the user before overwriting the destination file. This will prompt for a response and if you press
y, it overwrites the file.
cp -i file.txt new_file.txt
You can copy a file to a directory. To copy a file named
file.txt to a directory called
newDir, where both
newDir reside in the current directory, follow the below syntax.
cp file.txt newDir
To copy files and directories, you must have at least read permissions on the source file and write permission on the destination directory. If you would like to copy files file1.txt, file2.txt, and file3.txt to newDir directory, type the following.
cp file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt newDir