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MV(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual MV(1)
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by Kimmo Suominen.
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mv -- move files
mv [-fiv] source target
mv [-fiv] source ... directory
In its first form, the mv utility renames the file named by the source
operand to the destination path named by the target operand. This form
is assumed when the last operand does not name an already existing direc-
In its second form, mv moves each file named by a source operand to a
destination file in the existing directory named by the directory oper-
and. The destination path for each operand is the pathname produced by
the concatenation of the last operand, a slash, and the final pathname
component of the named file.
The following options are available:
-f Do not prompt for confirmation before overwriting the destination
-i Causes mv to write a prompt to standard error before moving a file
that would overwrite an existing file. If the response from the
standard input begins with the character ``y'', the move is
-v Cause mv to be verbose, showing files as they are processed.
The last of any -f or -i options is the one which affects mv's behavior.
It is an error for any of the source operands to specify a nonexistent
file or directory.
It is an error for the source operand to specify a directory if the
target exists and is not a directory.
If the destination path does not have a mode which permits writing, mv
prompts the user for confirmation as specified for the -i option.
Should the rename(2) call fail because source and target are on different
file systems, mv will remove the destination file, copy the source file
to the destination, and then remove the source. The effect is roughly
rm -f destination_path && \
cp -PRp source_file destination_path && \
rm -rf source_file
The mv utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
cp(1), rename(2), symlink(7)
The mv utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compati-
The -v option is an extension to IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'').
An mv utility appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
NetBSD 9.0 August 10, 2016 NetBSD 9.0