COPY command

copy all files in dir to anotherdir

[ cp -r dir/* anotherdir ]

copy all directories and subdirectories and files in the foo directory to the foos_backup directory in which you create the directory backup_one which will contain all that is in the foo directory:

[ cp -r foo foos_backup/backup_one ]
to copy filenames with spaces use quotes around them like this: “file name with spaces.txt”

copy the contents of a file to a new file (in the same directory) with a different name and leave the original intact:
[ cp original_file new_file ]

copy a directory, its name, and its subdirectories and associated files to another existing directory:
[ cp -r first_directory/* second_directory ]


This is the manual page:

CP(1)                            User Commands                           CP(1)

NAME
       cp - copy files and directories

SYNOPSIS
       cp [OPTION]... SOURCE DEST
       cp [OPTION]... SOURCE... DIRECTORY
       cp [OPTION]... --target-directory=DIRECTORY SOURCE...

DESCRIPTION
       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=link

       --no-dereference
              never follow symbolic 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

       -l, --link
              link files instead of copying

       -L, --dereference
              always follow symbolic links

       -p     same as --preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps

       --preserve[=ATTR_LIST]
              preserve   the   specified   attributes   (default:  mode,owner-
              ship,timestamps) and security contexts, if  possible  additional
              attributes: links, all

       --no-preserve=ATTR_LIST
              don't preserve the specified attributes

       --parents
              append source path to DIRECTORY

       -P     same as '--no-dereference'

       -R, -r, --recursive
              copy directories recursively

       --remove-destination
              remove  each existing destination file before attempting to open
              it (contrast with --force)

       --reply={yes,no,query}
              specify how to handle the prompt about an  existing  destination
              file

       --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

       --target-directory=DIRECTORY
              move all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY

       -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

       -Z, --context=CONTEXT
              set security context of copy to CONTEXT

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