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Old 09-22-2010, 08:16 AM   #1
x111
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Copy content of two directories


I'm sorry if the answer to this question is easy. But I've been searching the web as well as experimenting it myself for a while without coming up with any solution. I have 2 directories named source and dest. How can I use the 'cp' command to copy all the files and directories inside "source" into "dest".
For example:
In "source" we have: a.jpg, b.jpg, subdir1, subdir2.
In "dest" we have: c.jpg, subdir3.
After copying, in "dest" we have: a.jpg, b.jpg, c.jpg, subdir1, subdir2 (as well as hidden files/directories too). I don't mind if it overwrites the content of "dest" (because sometimes "dest" is an empty directory").

I have tried:
Code:
cp -r source/* dest/*
cp -r source/* dest/
cp -r source/* dest
cp -r source/ dest/*
cp -r source/ dest/
cp -r source/ dest
cp -r source dest/*
cp -r source dest/
cp -r source dest
But with all the above, I've always ended up with either nothing new in "dest", or a subdirectory "source" inside "dest/".
So, is there any way to have 'cp' do the trick, or do we need another tool to do this.

The reason I'm asking is I'm building an customized live debian system, which has root as its default user at every boot time. Because /etc/skel is automatically copied to new normal users only, I have to write a script to do the job for a super user.
Thanks for all your help and suggestion

Last edited by x111; 09-22-2010 at 08:41 AM. Reason: check spelling
 
Old 09-22-2010, 08:43 AM   #2
suprstar
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cp -r source dest

will work and copy all hidden files. Do not have an empty 'dest' folder to begin with. With:

cp -r dir1/* dir2

bash expands the *, which excludes hidden files.
 
Old 09-22-2010, 09:01 AM   #3
x111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprstar View Post
cp -r source dest

will work and copy all hidden files. Do not have an empty 'dest' folder to begin with. With:

cp -r dir1/* dir2

bash expands the *, which excludes hidden files.
Thank you superstar, but using 'cp -r source dest' give me "dest/source" (source directory inside dest).
And 'cp -r source/* dest' doesn't copy anything to dest.
 
Old 09-22-2010, 09:05 AM   #4
x111
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I'm wondering where I can get the source code of the script which copies the content of /etc/skel -> /home/newly-added-user ?
 
Old 09-22-2010, 09:06 AM   #5
suprstar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x111 View Post
Thank you superstar, but using 'cp -r source dest' give me "dest/source" (source directory inside dest).
And 'cp -r source/* dest' doesn't copy anything to dest.
Like I said, DONT have an empty 'dest' directory to begin with. Let cp create dest.
 
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:13 AM   #6
saagar
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Code:
 cp /etc/skel/* /home/<User>
then,

Code:
 cp /etc/skel/.* /home/<User>
It this helping you?
 
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
x111
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oh suprstar, I'm sorry I didn't tell you that although the dest directory is empty, I can't remove it and let cp create a new one. It may be a root directory of a partition.

@saagar: Thank you for your reply, the first command doesn't work. It says 'omitting directory...". The second tries to copy all the hidden files but it also copies the parents of the source directory (because ".*" includes "..").
Good news is when I try with just:

cp -r source/. dest

It works like a charm. Thank you all for the support. Now I've learnt a very sharp skill to synchronize 2 directories.
 
  


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