[K12OSN] OT: bash help - copying a series of files

Rob Owens rob.owens at biochemfluidics.com
Fri Dec 12 13:09:41 UTC 2008

Nils Breunese wrote:
> Rob Owens wrote:
>> j.w. thomas wrote:
>>> Rob Owens wrote:
>>>> I've read this somewhere before, but I'm having trouble finding it on
>>>> google...
>>>> I need to copy a series of files without using a loop.  I think the
>>>> syntax is something like:  cp /path/to/[file1 file2]
>>>> /destination/folder
>>>> But that doesn't work.  Does anybody know the correct syntax?  Google
>>>> isn't so good at searching special characters like [ and {
>>> I do this:
>>> cp /path/to/file1 /path/to/file2 /destination/folder
>>> If the names are as similar as you wrote though, you should be able to
>>> do this:
>>> cp /path/to/file[12] /destination/folder
>> The names really aren't that similar.  Here's the actual paths that I
>> need to copy:
>> /usr/local/share/icons/Drawings.desktop
>> /usr/local/share/icons/Obsolete\ Drawings.desktop
>> /usr/local/share/icons/Obsolete\ a\ Drawing.desktop
>> Since it's only 3 files, I could do as Robert suggests:
>>> cp  /path/file1  /path/file2  /path/file3  /dest/dir
>> But I was hoping to find a way with less typing, just in case someday I
>> have to do this with 10 files instead of 3.
> You could first change the current working directory, so you don't need
> to supply the path to every file.
>     cd /usr/local/share/icons
>     cp Drawings.desktop Obsolete\ Drawings.desktop Obsolete\ a\
> Drawing.desktop /dest/dir
That would work, but how do I error check?  I'd like some verification
that the cd worked before cp'ing (because what if I was rm'ing instead?)

I've done the job that I needed to do, but for my own betterment I'm
still interested in hearing ideas.



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