Linux Command Library


move (rename) files

- Move files in arbitrary locations:
mv [source] [target]

- Do not prompt for confirmation before overwriting existing files:
mv -f [source] [target]

- Do not prompt for confirmation before overwriting existing files but write to standard error before overriding:
mv -fi [source] [target]

- Move files in verbose mode, showing files after they are moved:
mv -v [source] [target]

mv [,OPTION/]... [,-T/] ,SOURCE DEST/ mv [,OPTION/]... ,SOURCE/... ,DIRECTORY/ mv [,OPTION/]... ,-t DIRECTORY SOURCE/...

Rename SOURCE to DEST, or move SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

make a backup of each existing destination file
like --backup but does not accept an argument
-f, --force
do not prompt before overwriting
-i, --interactive
prompt before overwrite
-n, --no-clobber
do not overwrite an existing file

If you specify more than one of -i, -f, -n, only the final one takes effect.

remove any trailing slashes from each SOURCE argument
-S, --suffix=,SUFFIX/
override the usual backup suffix
-t, --target-directory=,DIRECTORY/
move all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY
-T, --no-target-directory
treat DEST as a normal file
-u, --update
move only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination file or when the destination file is missing
-v, --verbose
explain what is being done
-Z, --context
set SELinux security context of destination file to default type
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:

none, off
never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
make numbered backups
existing, nil
numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
always make simple backups

Written by Mike Parker, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.

GNU coreutils online help: <> Report mv translation bugs to <>

Copyright © 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation at: <> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) mv invocation'

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