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  5. Creating, moving and copying files

Creating, moving and copying files

It’s now time to start getting creative and looking at how we can create, move, copy and delete files and directories.

Files

To start we will create a blank file using the touch command (this actually updates the modification time on a file, but if a file doesn’t exist creates one first).

touch myfile1

If we now want to make a copy of this file, we just use the cp (copy) command:

cp myfile1 myfile_copy

To rename a file, we just use the mv (move) command:

mv myfile_copy myfile2

And finally to delete a file we just use the rm (remove) command:

rm myfile2

Directories

Creating directories is slightly different to files and uses the mkdir (make directory) command:

mkdir junkdir

If we try removing this directory using the rm (remove) command we get an error:

rm: cannot remove `junkdir': Is a directory

So need to use the rmdir (remove directory) command:

rmdir junkdir

Summary of commands

rm Delete (remove) a file
mv Move a file
cp Copy a file
mkdir Create (make) a directory
rmdir Delete (remove) a directory