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Copying files and directories

From: Unix for Mac OS X Users

Video: Copying files and directories

Now, I would like to talk about how to copy them. Let's take a look. First of all, we'll do ls -la. Notice that I'm inside my unix_files directory now, which is inside my user root. At the end of the last movie we moved everything into this folder. So you can see I have got all of my unix_files just in this folder. Now, I'll start by doing cat new_file.txt. It's just a very simple text file. Let's copy that. We use cp to copy and we start by saying copy these source.

Copying files and directories

Now, I would like to talk about how to copy them. Let's take a look. First of all, we'll do ls -la. Notice that I'm inside my unix_files directory now, which is inside my user root. At the end of the last movie we moved everything into this folder. So you can see I have got all of my unix_files just in this folder. Now, I'll start by doing cat new_file.txt. It's just a very simple text file. Let's copy that. We use cp to copy and we start by saying copy these source.

Our source for this is going to be file.txt. Again, we can provide a full path to that source. It doesn't have to be something that's in this current directory. It can be an absolute path or a relative path. And then the destination, the target. And again, absolute or relative path. In this case, we are going to call it newer_file.txt. It did it. Say ls -la,. We can now see the newer file there and cat newer_file and we see that it copied the content as well. So it's that easy.

It really is just using the cp command to do a copy. The options that we can pass in for copy are the same as they were for move. n is for no overwriting, f is for force overwriting, i is for interactive -- ask me before deciding whether to overwrite or not and v is for verbose, just to give you a little more information about what it's trying to do. And also like move, force overwriting is the default. Let's try that. So I just created this newer_file.txt. Now let's try copying short_file.txt and we'll also put it at newer_file.txt.

So I am basically saying copy short_file and its target should be newer_file.txt. It did it. It didn't object at all and if we say now cat newer_file and see what's in it. You can see it has that short_file text in it. The same thing as short_file, not the same thing as newer_file. So it replaced it destructively. So we would want to use n for don't replace or i for interactive to ask me before we actually do it. Again, when we get to the aliases chapter, we'll talk about how we can change that default all the time.

And the directories work pretty much the same way with one important change. I'll just clear this. So cp test1, that's the directory that's in the folder where I am now. Let's just call it test1_copy. It's a directory so it was not copied. It does that just to make sure that you know, hey, this has a whole lot of stuff. If I make a copy of it, I may be here for a while. That may be copying up lots of stuff, taking a lot of hard drive space. Make sure that really want copy it directly. To do that, we do cp -R for recursive copy.

Keep copying down the line recursively for every single folder that's inside this directory and that will allow us to copy test1 to test1_copy. Take a look, there it is. So that -R option, is going to come a lot. R is really the option. Generally lowercase r works as well. So, you don't have to worry too much about remembering which one it is, but technically it should be the capital R. That's really all there is to being able to copy files.

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Unix for Mac OS X Users

82 video lessons · 25567 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
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  1. 3m 57s
    1. Introduction
      1m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 43s
  2. 32m 2s
    1. What is Unix?
      7m 27s
    2. The terminal application
      4m 23s
    3. Logging in and using the command prompt
      5m 19s
    4. Command structure
      5m 22s
    5. Kernel and shells
      5m 25s
    6. Unix manual pages
      4m 6s
  3. 15m 58s
    1. The working directory
      2m 49s
    2. Listing files and directories
      3m 59s
    3. Moving around the filesystem
      4m 58s
    4. Filesystem organization
      4m 12s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. Naming files
      5m 41s
    2. Creating files
      2m 19s
    3. Unix text editors
      6m 39s
    4. Reading files
      5m 35s
    5. Reading portions of files
      3m 27s
    6. Creating directories
      2m 40s
    7. Moving and renaming files and directories
      8m 32s
    8. Copying files and directories
      3m 7s
    9. Deleting files and directories
      3m 38s
    10. Finder aliases in Unix
      4m 10s
    11. Hard links
      5m 30s
    12. Symbolic links
      6m 36s
    13. Searching for files and directories
      6m 32s
  5. 34m 58s
    1. Who am I?
      4m 3s
    2. Unix groups
      1m 52s
    3. File and directory ownership
      6m 41s
    4. File and directory permissions
      4m 27s
    5. Setting permissions using alpha notation
      6m 49s
    6. Setting permissions using octal notation
      3m 49s
    7. The root user
      1m 57s
    8. sudo and sudoers
      5m 20s
  6. 52m 34s
    1. Command basics
      4m 4s
    2. The PATH variable
      4m 13s
    3. System information commands
      3m 40s
    4. Disk information commands
      6m 8s
    5. Viewing processes
      5m 0s
    6. Monitoring processes
      3m 36s
    7. Stopping processes
      3m 19s
    8. Text file helpers
      6m 50s
    9. Utility programs
      7m 28s
    10. Using the command history
      8m 16s
  7. 20m 39s
    1. Standard input and standard output
      1m 24s
    2. Directing output to a file
      4m 13s
    3. Appending to a file
      2m 44s
    4. Directing input from a file
      5m 28s
    5. Piping output to input
      4m 40s
    6. Suppressing output
      2m 10s
  8. 41m 28s
    1. Profile, login, and resource files
      9m 11s
    2. Setting command aliases
      6m 59s
    3. Setting and exporting environment variables
      4m 54s
    4. Setting the PATH variable
      6m 10s
    5. Configuring history with variables
      6m 17s
    6. Customizing the command prompt
      6m 5s
    7. Logout file
      1m 52s
  9. 1h 25m
    1. grep: Searching for matching expressions
      5m 21s
    2. grep: Multiple files, other input
      4m 28s
    3. grep: Coloring matched text
      2m 57s
    4. Introduction to regular expressions
      3m 22s
    5. Regular expressions: Basic syntax
      3m 19s
    6. Using regular expressions with grep
      5m 20s
    7. tr: Translating characters
      8m 17s
    8. tr: Deleting and squeezing characters
      5m 30s
    9. sed: Stream editor
      7m 45s
    10. sed: Regular expressions and back-references
      7m 8s
    11. cut: Cutting select text portions
      7m 42s
    12. diff: Comparing files
      4m 35s
    13. diff: Alternative formats
      4m 30s
    14. xargs: Passing argument lists to commands
      7m 25s
    15. xargs: Usage examples
      7m 59s
  10. 42m 25s
    1. Finder integration
      4m 45s
    2. Clipboard integration
      5m 5s
    3. Screen capture
      3m 42s
    4. Shut down, reboot, and sleep
      3m 34s
    5. Text to speech
      2m 36s
    6. Spotlight integration: Searching metadata
      3m 41s
    7. Spotlight integration: Metadata attributes
      4m 24s
    8. Using AppleScript
      5m 23s
    9. System configurations: Viewing and setting
      5m 51s
    10. System configurations: Examples
      3m 24s
  11. 1m 26s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 26s

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