mv - Moves files and directories
mv [-i | -f] [--] file1 file2
mv [-i | -f] [--] file1... directory
mv [-i | -f] [--] directory1... destination_directory
The mv command moves files from one directory to another
or renames files and directories.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to
industry standards as follows:
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information
about industry standards and associated tags.
Overrides the -i option and any mode restrictions. (If
both -f and -i are specified--for example, because an
alias includes one of them--whichever appears last overrides
the other.) Prompts you with the name of the file
followed by a question mark whenever a move is to supersede
an existing file. If the answer begins with y, or
the locale's equivalent of a y, the move continues. Any
other reply prevents the move from occurring. (If both -f
and -i are specified--for example, because an alias
includes one of them--whichever appears last overrides the
other.) Interprets all following arguments to mv as file
names. This allows file names to start with a - (dash).
If you move a file to a new directory, mv retains the
original file name. When you move a file, all other links
to the file remain intact.
In the second form, one or more files are moved to directory
with their original file names. In the third form,
one or more directories are moved to the destination
directory with their original names.
The mv command does not move a file onto itself.
When you use mv to rename a file, the target file can be
either a new file name or a new directory path name. If
moving the file would overwrite an existing file that does
not have write permission set and if standard input is a
terminal, mv displays the permission code of the file to
be overwritten and reads one line from standard input. If
the line begins with y, or the locale's equivalent of a y,
the move takes place and the file is overwritten. If not,
mv does nothing with the file.
When you use mv to move a directory into an existing
directory, the directory and its contents are added under
the existing directory.
The LC_MESSAGES variable determines the locale's equivalent
of y or n (for yes/no queries).
If a mv operation fails, mv generally writes a diagnostic
message to standard error, does nothing more with the current
source file, and goes on to process any remaining
If the copying or removal of a file is prematurely terminated
by a signal or error, mv might leave a partial copy
of the file at either the source or the target path name.
The mv program does not modify the source and target path
names simultaneously; therefore, program termination at
any point always leaves either the source file or the target
[Tru64 UNIX] If the source is on a different file system
than the destination, mv must copy the source to the destination's
file system and then delete the source. The
effect is equivalent to the following: rm -f destination
&& cp -pr source destination && rm -rf source The mv command
might overwrite existing files. Specify the -i option
last on the command line to cause the mv command to prompt
you before it moves a file.
The following exit values are returned: All files were
moved successfully. An error occurred.
To rename a file, enter: mv file1 file2
This renames file1 to file2. If a file named file2
already exists, its old contents are replaced with
those of file1. To move a directory, enter: mv
This moves dir1 to dir2. It moves dir1 and all
files and directories under dir1 to the directory
named dir2, if the second directory exists. Otherwise,
the directory dir1 gets renamed dir2. To
move a file to another directory and give it a new
name, enter: mv file1 dir1/file2
This moves file1 to dir1/file2. The name file1 is
removed from the current directory, and the same
file appears as file2 in the directory dir1. To
move a file to another directory, keeping the same
name, enter: mv file1 dir1
This moves file1 to dir1/file1. To move several
files into another directory, enter: mv file1
This moves file1 to /u/dir2/file1 and dir1/file2 to
/u/dir2/file2. To use mv with pattern-matching
characters, enter: mv dir1/* .
This moves all files in the directory dir1 into the
current directory (.), giving them the same names
they had in dir1. This also empties dir1. Note
that you must type a space between the * (asterisk)
and the (dot).
ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES [Toc] [Back]
The following environment variables affect the execution
of mv: Provides a default value for the internationalization
variables that are unset or null. If LANG is unset or
null, the corresponding value from the default locale is
used. If any of the internationalization variables contain
an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined. If set to a non-empty
string value, overrides the values of all the other internationalization
variables. Determines the locale for the
interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters
(for example, single-byte as opposed to multibyte
characters in arguments). Determines the locale for the
format and contents of diagnostic messages written to
standard error. Determines the location of message catalogues
for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.
Commands: cp(1), ln(1), rm(1)
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