I have been trying to move a file from one directory (on the Ubuntu 18.04 for windows terminal) to other directory and it dissapeared, to do it I ran the following command and entered the sudo password correctly, however when I moved to the new_directory nothing was there.

sudo mv new_file.txt /new_directory

Just to clarify this happens anytime with any file or directory I try to use (even if a create a new file and directory the output will be always the same - nothing there). However I have Anaconda installed on Ubuntu and using the Jupyter Navigator I can create and move files between folders, that means that the problem happens only when I use the ubuntu terminal.

Before arriving to this point I have been trying to move the files just using the mv command but permission was denied


mv new_file.txt /new_directory


mv: cannot move 'new_file.txt' to '/new_directory': Permission denied

I also changed file and directory permissions just in case but it didn´t work

chmod 777 new_file.txt
chmod 777 new_directory

I have had a look to similar issues here but I think they do not fit my problem (I don´t think the file is in a hidden directory or in a directory with a similar name as I have been doing trials on purpose creating several files & directories with different names). On the other hand I don´t know why I cannot execute the mv command without giving sudo permissions as this never happened to me before.

Thanks in advance, any help will be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Your command is incorrect.

If your destination for the mv command begins with a /, the path is absolute.

/ is the path for your root file system so your command is telling bash to move your file to a directory directly under / which probably doesn't exist and will require special permissions due to its protected location directly under /. (You really shouldn't make a folder here for personal files).

If you are trying to move a file into a folder that is under your current directory, you should use:

mv new_file.txt new_directory/

You add the backslash at the end to indicate that you want it to be moved into that directory.

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