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I have read about copying files with terminal but these examples will help me a lot. So here is what I want to do:


  1. I have a file in /home/levan/kdenlive untitelds.mpg and I want to copy this file to /media/sda3/SkyDrive and do not want to delete any thing in SkyDrive directory.

  2. I have a file in /media/sda3/SkyDrive untitelds.mpg and I want to copy this file to /home/levan/kdenlive and do not want to delete any thing in kdenlive directory

  3. I want to copy a folder from home directory to sda3 and do not want to delete any thing on sda3 directory and opposite

  4. I want to cut a folder/file and copy to other place without deleting files in that directory I cut it into.

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up vote 64 down vote accepted

1) By using -i for interactive you will be asked if you would like to replace the file:

cp -i /home/levan/kdenlive/untitelds.mpg /media/sda3/SkyDrive/

or you can use -b to create a backup of your file:

cp -b /home/levan/kdenlive/untitelds.mpg /media/sda3/SkyDrive

2) Same as the above:

cp (-i or -b) /media/sda3/SkyDrive/untitelds.mpg /home/levan/kdenlive

3) Use -R for recursive and -i for interactive:

cp -Ri ~/MyFolder /sda3/

4) This last one can be done via the mv command, move is like cutting:

mv -i ~/MyFile ~/OtherFolder/MyFile

if you want to move a directory, use:

mv -Ri ~/MyDirectory ~/OtherDirectory/
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Neat syntax highlighting! Not sure how you triggered that. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 3 '12 at 16:05
Thank you so much it works great :) – Levan Oct 3 '12 at 16:08
@WarriorIng64 That is triggered by the bash tag in the question. highlighting will be enabled by default by the system. If you answer a question with bash tag, the hightlighting will follow bash style and so on. – Anwar Shah Oct 3 '12 at 16:19
@Anwar I was just partway through making a Meta post on this when I saw your comment. Of course, I credited you in the answer. :) – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 3 '12 at 16:24
Thanks!! your answer did a great help – Parth Jani Feb 18 '14 at 12:06
rsync -aAXhv /home/levan/kdenlive/untitelds.mpg  /media/sda3/SkyDrive/

This will copy the untitelds.mpg file in the SkyDrive directory without deleting anything

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I'm not sure why my comment shows up in bold... wasn't intended to. – BillV Aug 29 '15 at 6:44
Read the formatting help by clicking the ? just above the answer field, on the top right. – Sparhawk Sep 6 '15 at 5:23

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