Posted on 2012-03-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-03-27
Good evening,
Im a newbie with linux, and Ive figured out I can do "CP -R" to copy all files and directories, which works great, but if Im doing several Gb, I have no idea how far its got, or if its failed.

Is it possible to add a parameter in to show me which files its copying/copied, and maybe the progress of the current file?

On another question, is it possible to tell it to skip files if they exist already, or overwire if it does exist.

Thank you
Question by:tonelm54
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 37707673
I don't know any way cp will show progress.  You might want to look at the -a option.

To not overwrite exisitng files, use -n.  You might also want to look at -u.

See http://linux.die.net/man/1/cp
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 37707675
I'm not sure what you want with overwrite if they exist.  I think you want -f.  Again, see the man page at http://linux.die.net/man/1/cp
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 37708079
What you want to use is rsync, eg:

rsync -av --stats --progress /source/dir /dest/dir
7 new features that'll make your work life better

It’s our mission to create a product that solves the huge challenges you face at work every day. In case you missed it, here are 7 delightful things we've added recently to monday to make it even more awesome.

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 2000 total points
ID: 37708553
Look at these switches/parameters and see which of them you want to use...

# \cp -cfpv

the # means you're at root-level access (user-level access has $ prompt)
the \ makes it ignore parameters that have been stored as defaults and use only the parameters specified
the c makes it preserve the 'context' so SELinux shouldn't complain about wrong context
the f makes it 'force'  an overwrite
the p makes it preserve the date/time stamp, otherwise they're set to the moment copied
the v makes it verbose

other switches you might find useful immediately
the r makes it recursive
the n makes it NOT overwrite (aka "no-clobber")
the u makes it overwrite only if the file being copied is newer (another reason to use -p)

Without using \ you probably won't be able to use -f or -u, because I think most distros store -n (no-clobber) as a default, so cp ignores the overwrite and update switches.

In my opinion, the most important thing to know about linux commands is 'man' e.g.
$ man cp
and use PgDn/PgUp to scroll down/up through the help file. Press 'q' to quit man pages.
Any [command] you're not sure how to use, and what parameters it has, just run
$ man [command]
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 37709318
I'd like to note that running at the #, especially for commands you don't understand, is a bad idea, especially for a newbie unless it's a "sandbox" system that you are willing to reload (as people did a lot in the old days of Linux).
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 37774093
You are still much better off to use rsync.   For your purposes it will be way quicker and use much fewer resources.

Featured Post

Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

In the first part of this tutorial we will cover the prerequisites for installing SQL Server vNext on Linux.
Virtualization software lets you run different versions of Windows, Ubuntu Linux and other versions of Linux all at the same time, rather than running each one directly from your computer's hard drive.
Learn how to navigate the file tree with the shell. Use pwd to print the current working directory: Use ls to list a directory's contents: Use cd to change to a new directory: Use wildcards instead of typing out long directory names: Use ../ to move…
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

607 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question