Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Copying symbolic links

Sometimes it's useful to copy a directory that contains symlinks. The default cp behaviour is to follow the symlink and copy the file the symlink points to. If you want to preserve the symlinks as symlinks, then the flags the cp command uses depends on the operating system:

Solaris 10 and Linux:

$ cp -rP dir1/* dir2

The -r is recursive (in case dir1 has subdirectories) and the -P preserves the symlink.

AIX 5.2:

$ cp -rh dir1/* dir2

The -r is the same as Solaris, the -h preserves the symlink.

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