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Unix cp/mv help

How do I update a directory w/out overwriting?

6:42 pm on May 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

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joined:Jan 23, 2007
posts: 48
votes: 0

Here's my example:

I have a directory called forum with files and subdirectories with files. I want to upgrade my forum and have uploaded the new forum directory. Now, I need to copy the new forum directory over to my existing location but without deleting any of my custom files.

I know this works:

sudo mv /new/forum/*.php /old/forum/.
sudo mv /new/forum/*.jpg /old/forum/.
sudo mv /new/forum/admin/* /old/forum/admin/.

But is there a way to do this without first cd-ing into the directory and moving/copying contents of that directory? Is there a way to do it by whole directory?

sudo mv /new/forum/admin /old/forum/admin

This would simply overwrite the admin directory, right? But what if /old/forum/admin has custom files that I want to keep?

6:06 am on May 11, 2012 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 10, 2004
votes: 61

if you use 'mv -i /new/forum/ /old/forum/' it will work recursively through the subdirectories and you will be prompted before overwriting any existing files.

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