copy - file/directory copy utility


       copy [options] file1 file2

       copy [options] file ... directory


       Copy  is  an extension of the basic POSIX cp utility.  It copies files,
       preserving their modification date.


       Copy copies file1 onto file2.  It preserves the existing mode of file2.
       If file2 did not exist, copy uses the mode of the source file.

       Copy can also be used to copy one or more files into directory, without
       changing their original filenames.  It refuses  to  copy  a  file  onto

       Except  for  symbolic links, file2 will be set to the same modification
       date as file1.  The owner of the file will be the same as the owner  of
       the  process  which invokes copy.  Unless the "-i" option is used, copy
       ignores permissions of the (previous) destination file.


       Copy recognizes options similar to those of cp, but with extensions:

       -a  include dot-files (names beginning with '.').  This is the default.
           Use  this  option  to  override -z, e.g., in a script which presets
           that option.

       -d  all names given are treated as the destination;  the  source  names
           are  obtained by taking the leaves and looking for them in the cur-
           rent working directory.  This is provided to simplify  installation
           of files in a directory.

       -f  forces  copy into protected directories by temporarily changing the
           destination protection.

       -i  prompt with the name of the file whenever the copy  will  cause  an
           old  file to be overwritten.  A "y" answer causes copy to continue.
           Any other answer prevents it from overwriting the file.

       -l  copy the files which symbolic links point to, rather  than  copying
           the links themselves.

       -m  permits  you  to  merge directories.  If the source and destination
           are directories, copy will normally create a  new  directory  under
           the  destination  with the same leaf name as the source.  For exam-

            copy /local/bin /usr/local/bin

           will create and copy into  the  directory  "/usr/local/bin/bin"  if
           "/usr/local/bin"  exists.   Use  the  "-m"  option  to copy onto an
           existing directory.

       -n  disables the actual creation or modification of files, and (depend-
           ing  on  the  level of verboseness) shows the effect which the copy
           command would have.

       -p  attempt to preserve file ownership.

       -s  enables the set-uid and set-gid file modes in the target.

       -u  copies files only if their size or modification date  differs,  and
           links only if the link-text differs.

       -U  copies  only  files that are newer than the destination, or that do
           not exist in the destination.

       -v  verbose mode directs copy to print the names (to standard error) of
           the files which it copies.

       -z  omit dot-files (names beginning with '.').

       -S  (Linux  only)  tells  copy that the source is on a filesystem using
           local time, and that appropriate adjustments must be  made  in  the
           timestamp computation.

       -D  (Linux  only)  tells  copy  that the destination is on a filesystem
           using local time, and that appropriate adjustments must be made  in
           the timestamp computation.


       Copy is used exactly as one would use cp (for file-copying).  Directory
       copying is performed without the "-r" option of cp.

       Copy recognizes the C-shell "~" (tilde) to denote the home directory of
       POSIX users.

       If  more  than two arguments are given, or if the destination ends with
       "/", copy assumes that the user wants to write into an existing  direc-
       tory rather than create a new one.


       Copy is a C-language program which runs in a POSIX environment.


       Copy is a single binary file, "copy".


       Copy  does  not  currently  know  how  to  handle  special files (e.g.,


       cp (1)


       Thomas E. Dickey <>