Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Copy a folder linux

I'm a new Linux user. How do I copy a directory or folder under Linux operating system using command line options and bash shell?

You can use various command to copy a folder under Linux operating systems.

cp Command

cp is a Linux command for copying files and directories. The syntax is as follows:
cp source destination
cp dir1 dir2
cp -option  source destination
cp -option1 -option2  source destination
In this example copy /home/vivek/letters folder and all its files to /usb/backup directory:
cp -avr /home/vivek/letters /usb/backup
  • -a : Preserve the specified attributes such as directory an file mode, ownership, timestamps, if possible additional attributes: context, links, xattr, all.
  • -v : Explain what is being done.
  • -r : Copy directories recursively.


Copy a folder called /tmp/conf to /tmp/backup:
$ cp -avr /tmp/conf/ /tmp/backup
Sample outputs:
HowTO: Copy Folder Linux Terminal Command
Fig.01: cp command in action

rsync Command

You can also use rsync command which is a fast and extraordinarily versatile file copying tool. It can make copies across the network. The syntax is as follows:
rsync -av /path/to/source /path/to/destination
rsync -av /path/to/source/ /path/to/destination/source
To backup my home directory, which consists of large files and mail folders to /media/backup, enter:
$ rsync -avz /home/vivek /media/backup
I can copy a folder to remote machine called
$ rsync -avz /home/vivek/
  • -a : Archive mode i.e. copy a folder with all its permission and other information including recursive copy.
  • -v : Verbose mode.
  • -z : With this option, rsync compresses the file data as it is sent to the destination machine, which reduces the amount of data being transmitted — something that is useful over a slow connection.
You can show progress during transfer using --progress or -P option:
$ rsync -av --progress /path/to/source/ /path/to/dest
Sample outputs:
Copy Folder Linux Commands [ rsync ]
Fig.02: rsync command in action