NAME

cp - copy files and directories  

SYNOPSIS

cp [OPTION]... [-T] SOURCE DEST
cp [OPTION]... SOURCE... DIRECTORY
cp [OPTION]... -t 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 -dR --preserve=all
--attributes-only
don't copy the file data, just the attributes
--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=links
-f, --force
if an existing destination file cannot be opened, remove it and try again (this option is ignored when the -n option is also used)
-i, --interactive
prompt before overwrite (overrides a previous -n option)
-H
follow command-line symbolic links in SOURCE
-l, --link
hard link files instead of copying
-L, --dereference
always follow symbolic links in SOURCE
-n, --no-clobber
do not overwrite an existing file (overrides a previous -i option)
-P, --no-dereference
never follow symbolic links in SOURCE
-p
same as --preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps
--preserve[=ATTR_LIST]
preserve the specified attributes (default: mode,ownership,timestamps), if possible additional attributes: context, links, xattr, all
-c
deprecated, same as --preserve=context
--no-preserve=ATTR_LIST
don't preserve the specified attributes
--parents
use full source file name under DIRECTORY
-R, -r, --recursive
copy directories recursively
--reflink[=WHEN]
control clone/CoW copies. See below
--remove-destination
remove each existing destination file before attempting to open it (contrast with --force)
--sparse=WHEN
control creation of sparse files. See below
--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
-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY
copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY
-T, --no-target-directory
treat DEST as a normal file
-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
-Z
set SELinux security context of destination file to default type
--context[=CTX]
like -Z, or if CTX is specified then set the SELinux or SMACK security context to CTX
--help
display this help and exit
--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 behavior 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.

When --reflink[=always] is specified, perform a lightweight copy, where the data blocks are copied only when modified. If this is not possible the copy fails, or if --reflink=auto is specified, fall back to a standard copy.

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_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.

GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/> Report cp translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>  

AUTHOR

Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.  

COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  

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 command
info coreutils 'cp invocation'

should give you access to the complete manual.