We are quite used to working with files using a graphical user interface (or GUI). In this section, you will learn how to copy, move, create, and delete directories and files.
mv commands can be used to copy and move (or rename) files and directories respectively. For both commands, you must specify the old and new names. Specifying the path is necessary if you want to move files out of the current working directory.
cp [original-filename] [copy-filename] mv [original-filename] [new-filename]
Let's make a copy of some raw data before we start modifying it. We will use
ls to check our work.
cp book.txt book-copy.txt ls
mv command can be used to either move files to a new location or to rename them (which is essentially moving the contents from the old filename to the new file name). Let's use the
mv command to rename the copied and compressed file back to the original name.
mv book-copy.txt book-2cities.txt
Take care when renaming files. It is good practice to keep track of changes in file names and links to the source data.
Now you know how to copy and move files, but you may encounter errors if you try to move files to a directory that does not exist. But, have no fear, we can create new directories at the command line with the command
mkdir followed by the path to the directories you want to create.
What happens when you run the following commands?
mkdir data results images/ mkdir -p data/results/images
-pargument creates parent directories if they do not already exist.
If you created some files or directories that you do not want, you can remove them with the
rmdir will only remove empty directories, but
rm -r will remove recursively (deleting the files first and then the directory itself).
rmdir data/results/images rmdir data/results
rm -r data/results
|cp [old] [new]||copies a file|
|mv [old] [new]||moves or renames a file or directory|
|rm [path]||removes (deletes) a file|
|mkdir [path]||creates a new directory|
|rmdir [path]||removes an empty directory|