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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
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1 Solution
Hugh McCurdyCommented:
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
Hugh McCurdyCommented:
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
What you want to use is rsync, eg:

rsync -av --stats --progress /source/dir /dest/dir
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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]
Hugh McCurdyCommented:
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).
You are still much better off to use rsync.   For your purposes it will be way quicker and use much fewer resources.

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