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Commands and references ( GNU / linux kernel 2.4.18-3 and 2.4.18-14 )   
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The commands with their most common usage are in brackets like this: [ command ].
Don't type the brackets, just what is inside of them.

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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 --version output version information and exit By default, sparse SOURCE files are detected by a crude heuristic and the corresponding DEST file is made sparse as well. That is the behav- ior selected by --sparse=auto. Specify --sparse=always to create a sparse DEST file whenever the SOURCE file contains a long enough sequence of zero bytes. Use --sparse=never to inhibit creation of sparse files. The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIM- PLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values: none, off never make backups (even if --backup is given) numbered, t make numbered backups existing, nil numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise simple, never always make simple backups As a special case, cp makes a backup of SOURCE when the force and backup options are given and SOURCE and DEST are the same name for an existing, regular file. AUTHOR Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering. REPORTING BUGS Report bugs to <>. COPYRIGHT Copyright © 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. SEE ALSO The full documentation for cp is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and cp programs are properly installed at your site, the com- mand info coreutils cp should give you access to the complete manual. cp (coreutils) 5.2.1 March 2004 CP(1)
end manual page.

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