Usage: cp [OPTION]... [-T] SOURCE DEST or: cp [OPTION]... SOURCE... DIRECTORY or: cp [OPTION]... -t DIRECTORY SOURCE... Copy SOURCE to DEST, or multiple SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY. Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. -a, --archive same as -dpR --backup[=CONTROL] make a backup of each existing destination file -b like --backup but does not accept an argument --copy-contents copy contents of special files when recursive -d same as --no-dereference --preserve=links -f, --force if an existing destination file cannot be opened, remove it and try again -i, --interactive prompt before overwrite -H follow command-line symbolic links in SOURCE -l, --link link files instead of copying -L, --dereference always follow symbolic links in SOURCE -P, --no-dereference never follow symbolic links in SOURCE -p same as --preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps --preserve[=ATTR_LIST] preserve the specified attributes (default: mode,ownership,timestamps), if possible additional attributes: context, links, all --no-preserve=ATTR_LIST don't preserve the specified attributes --parents use full source file name under DIRECTORY -R, -r, --recursive copy directories recursively --remove-destination remove each existing destination file before attempting to open it (contrast with --force) --sparse=WHEN control creation of sparse files --strip-trailing-slashes remove any trailing slashes from each SOURCE argument -s, --symbolic-link make symbolic links instead of copying -S, --suffix=SUFFIX override the usual backup suffix -t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY -T, --no-target-directory treat DEST as a normal file -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 -x, --one-file-system stay on this file system --help display this help and exit --version output version information and exit 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 --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values: none, off never make backups (even if --backup is given) numbered, t make numbered backups existing, nil numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise simple, never 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. Report bugs to .