copy files and set attributes


Copy files to destination

$ install [path/to/source] [path/to/destination]

Copy files to destination, setting their ownership

$ install -o [user] [path/to/source] [path/to/destination]

Copy files to destination, setting their group ownership

$ install -g [user] [path/to/source] [path/to/destination]

Copy files to destination, setting their mode

$ install -m [+x] [path/to/source] [path/to/destination]

Copy files and apply access/modification times of source to destination

$ install -p [path/to/source] [path/to/destination]


install [ OPTION ]...[ -T ] SOURCE DEST
install [ OPTION ]... SOURCE ... DIRECTORY
install [ OPTION ]... -t DIRECTORY SOURCE ...
install [ OPTION ]... -d DIRECTORY ...


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


Copyright 2019 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.


This install program copies files (often just compiled) into destination locations you choose. If you want to download and install a ready -to -use package on a GNU/Linux system, you should instead be using a package manager like yum(1) or apt -get(1).

In the first three forms, copy SOURCE to DEST or multiple SOURCE(s) to the existing DIRECTORY, while setting permission modes and owner/group. In the 4th form, create all components of the given DIRECTORY(ies).

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

--backup [= CONTROL ] make a backup of each existing destination file

-b like --backup but does not accept an argument

-c (ignored)

-C , --compare compare each pair of source and destination files, and in some cases, do not modify the destination at all

-d , --directory treat all arguments as directory names; create all components of the specified directories

-D create all leading components of DEST except the last, or all components of --target -directory , then copy SOURCE to DEST

-g , --group = GROUP set group ownership, instead of process' current group

-m , --mode = MODE set permission mode (as in chmod), instead of rwxr -xr -x

-o , --owner = OWNER set ownership (super -user only)

-p , --preserve -timestamps apply access/modification times of SOURCE files to corresponding destination files

-s , --strip strip symbol tables

--strip -program = PROGRAM program used to strip binaries

-S , --suffix = SUFFIX override the usual backup suffix

-t , --target -directory = DIRECTORY copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY

-T , --no -target -directory treat DEST as a normal file

-v , --verbose print the name of each directory as it is created

--preserve -context preserve SELinux security context

-Z set SELinux security context of destination file and each created directory to default type

--context [= CTX ] like -Z ,or if CTX is specified then set the SELinux or SMACK security context to CTX

--help display this help and exit

--version 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


Full documentation <> or available locally via: info install invocation


Written by David MacKenzie.

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