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UNIX mv Command Examples

September 8, 2019

How do I use mv command to rename or move file under UNIX operating systems?

You can move and rename files by using the mv command under UNIX.

Syntax

mv oldname newname
mv filename /dest/dir

mv oldname newname
mv filename /dest/dir

Task: Rename A File

Type the mv command to rename foo.txt to bar.txt:

mv foo.txt bar.txt
ls

mv foo.txt bar.txt
ls

Task: Rename A Directory

Type the following command to rename a directory in the current directory:

mv oldDir newDir
mv letters letters.old

mv oldDir newDir
mv letters letters.old

Task: Move Directory

Use the following sytax:
mv sourceDir destDir
In this example, move httpd directory and its contents to a new location /webroot in the file system so that a subdirectory named httpd resides in directory /webroot:

mv httpd /webroot
cd /webroot
ls -l

mv httpd /webroot
cd /webroot
ls -l

mv Options

The following options are supported:

  • -f : mv will move the file(s) without prompting even if it is writing over an existing target. Note that this is the default if the standard input is not a terminal.
  • -i : mv will prompt for confirmation whenever the move would overwrite an existing target. An affirmative answer means that the move should proceed. Any other answer prevents mv from overwriting the target.

Overwrite an existing file, enter:

mv -f file /dest
mv -i /etc/passwd /backup

mv -f file /dest
mv -i /etc/passwd /backup

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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