CP(1)                   NetBSD General Commands Manual                   CP(1)

NAME
     cp -- copy files

SYNOPSIS
     cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f | -i] [-alNpv] source_file target_file
     cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f | -i] [-alNpv] source_file ...
        target_directory

DESCRIPTION
     In the first synopsis form, the cp utility copies the contents of the
     source_file to the target_file.  In the second synopsis form, the con-
     tents of each named source_file is copied to the destination
     target_directory.  The names of the files themselves are not changed.  If
     cp detects an attempt to copy a file to itself, the copy will fail.

     The following options are available:

     -a    Archive mode.  Same as -RpP.

     -f    For each existing destination pathname, attempt to overwrite it.
           If permissions do not allow copy to succeed, remove it and create a
           new file, without prompting for confirmation.  (The -i option is
           ignored if the -f option is specified.)

     -H    If the -R option is specified, symbolic links on the command line
           are followed.  (Symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal
           are not followed.)

     -i    Causes cp to write a prompt to the standard error output before
           copying a file that would overwrite an existing file.  If the
           response from the standard input begins with the character `y', the
           file copy is attempted.

     -L    If the -R option is specified, all symbolic links are followed.

     -l    Create hard links to regular files in a hierarchy instead of copy-
           ing.

     -N    When used with -p, don't copy file flags.

     -P    No symbolic links are followed.  This is the default.

     -p    Causes cp to preserve in the copy as many of the modification time,
           access time, file flags, file mode, user ID, group ID, and extended
           attributes, as allowed by permissions.

           If the user ID and group ID cannot be preserved, no error message
           is displayed and the exit value is not altered.

           If the source file has its set user ID bit on and the user ID can-
           not be preserved, the set user ID bit is not preserved in the
           copy's permissions.  If the source file has its set group ID bit on
           and the group ID cannot be preserved, the set group ID bit is not
           preserved in the copy's permissions.  If the source file has both
           its set user ID and set group ID bits on, and either the user ID or
           group ID cannot be preserved, neither the set user ID or set group
           ID bits are preserved in the copy's permissions.

           Extended attributes from all accessible namespaces are copied; oth-
           ers are ignored.  If an error occurs during this copy, a message is
           displayed and cp skips the other extended attributes for that file.

     -R    If source_file designates a directory, cp copies the directory and
           the entire subtree connected at that point.  This option also
           causes symbolic links to be copied, rather than followed, and for
           cp to create special files rather than copying them as normal
           files.  Created directories have the same mode as the corresponding
           source directory, unmodified by the process's umask.

     -v    Cause cp to be verbose, showing files as they are copied.

     For each destination file that already exists, its contents are overwrit-
     ten if permissions allow, but its mode, user ID, and group ID are
     unchanged.

     In the second synopsis form, target_directory must exist unless there is
     only one named source_file which is a directory and the -R flag is speci-
     fied.

     If the destination file does not exist, the mode of the source file is
     used as modified by the file mode creation mask (umask, see csh(1)).  If
     the source file has its set user ID bit on, that bit is removed unless
     both the source file and the destination file are owned by the same user.
     If the source file has its set group ID bit on, that bit is removed
     unless both the source file and the destination file are in the same
     group and the user is a member of that group.  If both the set user ID
     and set group ID bits are set, all of the above conditions must be ful-
     filled or both bits are removed.

     Appropriate permissions are required for file creation or overwriting.

     Symbolic links are always followed unless the -R flag is set, in which
     case symbolic links are not followed, by default.  The -H or -L flags (in
     conjunction with the -R flag), as well as the -P flag cause symbolic
     links to be followed as described above.  The -H and -L options are
     ignored unless the -R option is specified.  In addition, these options
     override each other and the command's actions are determined by the last
     one specified.

EXIT STATUS
     The cp utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

COMPATIBILITY
     Historic versions of the cp utility had a -r option.  This implementation
     supports that option, however, its use is strongly discouraged, as it
     does not correctly copy special files, symbolic links or fifo's.

SEE ALSO
     mv(1), rcp(1), umask(2), fts(3), symlink(7)

STANDARDS
     The cp utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compati-
     ble.

     The -a and -l flags are non-standard extensions.  They are intended to be
     compatible with the same options which other implementations, namely GNU
     coreutils and FreeBSD, of this utility have.

     The -v option is an extension to IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'').

NetBSD 6.0                      August 3, 2011                      NetBSD 6.0

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