Important Instance of Linux mv Command


High 25 mv Command in Linux for On a regular basis Customers

The mv command is used to maneuver and/or rename recordsdata in Linux and BSD distributions. System directors frequently use mv to carry out operations on the Linux filesystem. Don’t worry if you happen to’re a beginning consumer with little or no data over this command. In the present day, now we have ready this information to offer you all the data you want relating to the mv utility. You’ll be taught the assorted features related to this command and acquire the required expertise by executing the instance instructions demonstrated beneath. Fortunately for you, mv is likely one of the most fundamental Linux terminal instructions and fairly simple to grasp.

Important Instance of Linux mv Command

Since mv gives solely a handful of command-line parameters, it is rather easy to be taught. Nevertheless, mv can also be very strong, and, when used well, can carry out complicated file operations. So take a look at the beneath instructions and see how we will use mv in our day-to-day computing.

1. Transfer Information Instantly

At its easy utilization, mv copies the supply file into the vacation spot listing and removes the supply from its earlier location. For illustration, now we have created a easy listing known as Check, which accommodates a listing named dir1 and a textual content file known as check. You possibly can create them simply utilizing the next instructions.

$ mkdir Check && cd Check/ && mkdir dir1 && contact check
$ tree
$ mv check dir1/

First, we’ve created the recordsdata & directories after which used the tree command to visualise the filesystem hierarchy. The ultimate command is the operation we’re all for. It strikes the file check to the dir1 listing. So the primary argument of mv is the supply, and the second is the vacation spot. You possibly can re-use tree to show the brand new hierarchy.

2. Rename Information

The syntax for shifting and renaming recordsdata is similar. However, we have to present the brand new title instead of the vacation spot. In easy phrases, while you use mv on two recordsdata residing on the identical Linux filesystem, it should end in a file rename operation.

$ cd dir1
$ mv check TEST

Now merely return to the dad or mum listing and situation the tree command once more. This may confirm that you don’t have any file known as check on this filesystem. You must see the file that there’s a new file known as TEST.

3. Stop Overwriting Information

By default, mv will overwrite any recordsdata which have the identical title within the vacation spot listing. You possibly can confirm this through the use of the beneath instructions.

$ cp TEST dir1
$ mv TEST dir1/TEST
$ tree

Nevertheless, we will simply stop such overwriting utilizing the -n choice, as demonstrated within the beneath instance.

$ cp dir1/TEST .
$ mv -n TEST dir1/TEST
$ tree

Now we will see that our filesystem accommodates each recordsdata. The -n choice additionally has a long-form known as –no-clobber. Strive them each if you wish to keep in mind them for a while.

4. Allow Interactive Mode when Overwriting Information

You may also set the interactive mode in mv, which leads to a immediate asking if you wish to overwrite the vacation spot file or not. Though helpful for beginning customers, it’s a no brainer that it will halt your automation scripts.

$ mv -i TEST dir1/TEST
mv: overwrite 'dir1/TEST'?

Merely kind y or n within the above immediate to allow/disable file overwriting. You might also use the choice long-form –interactive instead of -i.

5. Create Backups earlier than Overwriting Information

It’s at all times a good suggestion to create backups earlier than performing large-scale file operations. Beginning Linux customers typically overwrite their recordsdata unwillingly. Fortunately, mv permits us to again up our vacation spot recordsdata fairly simply. Take a fast take a look at the beneath illustration to see how this works.

$ mv --backup TEST dir1/TEST
$ tree

The output of the tree command reveals that the supply file has been moved efficiently, and there may be a further file known as TEST~ within the vacation spot listing. It’s the backup of the sooner file. At all times use this selection while you’re not sure of the precise vacation spot listing or related recordsdata.

6. Set Customized Suffix for Backup Information

As now we have seen already, mv makes use of the ~ image as its default backup suffix. Nevertheless, we will change this to the rest utilizing the -S choice. The beneath instance demonstrates this utilizing a brand new backup suffix .BKP.

$ mv -S .BKP TEST dir1
$ mv --suffix=.BKP TEST dir1

You may also use the –suffix choice instead of -S in order for you. Setting custom-made suffixes for our backup recordsdata makes it simpler to establish them and have a greater understanding of the Linux filesystem.

7. Replace Vacation spot File

The Linux mv command permits us to replace vacation spot recordsdata primarily based on their availability and timestamp. On this case, the transfer operation shall be profitable provided that the supply file is newer than the vacation spot file or if the vacation spot file is lacking altogether.

$ rm -ri *
$ mkdir dir1 && contact check dir1/check
$ mv -u check dir1/

First, we deleted all contents of Check/ after which re-created them once more. I did this, so each the check recordsdata are created on the identical time and, subsequently, are the identical. Now when I attempt to transfer check into dir1, the transfer failed and exited silently. This occurred since mv discovered them to be the identical and deduced that no replace is required.

8. Configure SELinux Safety Context to Default

The SELinux security context labels CPU sources in methods the place it’s enabled. It makes use of this info to establish if a given useful resource is accessible by a particular consumer or not. You possibly can simply set the SELinux context to the default through the use of the -Z choice, as demonstrated beneath.

$ contact new         # create one other file for testing
$ mv -Z new dir1/
$ mv --context new dir1/
$ ls -Z dir1/

Right here, mv makes use of the default SELinux context of your system when shifting the file title new to its new vacation spot. You possibly can confirm this through the use of the final command proven above.

9. Allow Verbose Output

Like many conventional Linux terminal instructions, the mv command additionally permits us to show verbose output of its operations. It’s particularly useful for newcomers or if you end up transferring a number of recordsdata from one filesystem to a different.

$ mv -v dir1/new .

$ mv --verbose dir1/new .
renamed 'dir1/new' -> './new'

The above instructions are equal and switch the file dir1/new to our Check folder. Word that the interval ‘.‘ image refers back to the current listing in Unix-like working methods. These instructions ought to present a short clarification of the underlying file operation.

10. Allow Goal Listing

Typically, mv can discover it onerous to map the supply recordsdata to the vacation spot listing because the consumer intends. It will possibly occur if mv fails to infer whether or not the goal is a vacation spot listing or a file. Fortunately, we will simply inform mv whether or not the vacation spot argument is meant to be a listing or a file through the use of the -t choice of mv.

$ mv -t dir1/new/ new
$ mv --target-directory=dir1/new/ new

Once you situation the above command, mv relocates the file known as new from the Check listing to the Check/dir1/new listing. Discover that we’re passing the vacation spot listing earlier than the supply argument. It’s necessary since -t pinpoints the vacation spot goal.

11. Disable Goal Listing

The mv utility additionally permits us to disable the goal vacation spot altogether. That is helpful while you wish to ensure that your vacation spot arguments are handled as regular Linux recordsdata. Just like the above instance, this command additionally has each a brief and a long-form.

$ mv dir1/new/new .
$ mv -T new dir1/new/
$ mv --no-target-directory new dir1/new/

So, mv will deal with the vacation spot as a daily file after we use the -T or –no-target-directory choice.

12. Allow Power Overwriting

Though fashionable implementations of the Linux mv command don’t immediate earlier than overwriting at this time, mv nonetheless gives a useful choice to allow pressure overwriting. You should utilize this selection to verify your Linux shell scripts are backward suitable and don’t break on methods with a unique mv implementation.

$ mv -f check dir1/check
$ mv --force check dir1/check

Each of the above instructions are equal and carry out the transfer operation with out asking the consumer for affirmation. So your automation scripts wouldn’t break down due to mv.

13. Take away Trailing Slashes

Once you use auto-completion in Linux terminals, it additionally provides a trailing slash after every listing. It could pose issues throughout file actions. So the builders of mv additionally created a useful choice that may take away these trailing slashes for you.

$ mv --strip-trailing-slashes dir1/new/ .

The –strip-trailing-slashes choice tells mv to take away any trailing slashes current within the SOURCE arguments. It may be very helpful in sure situations, so it’s best to familiarize your self with this selection.

14. Transfer A number of Information

Linux customers can use mv for simply shifting a lot of recordsdata on the identical time. The next command demonstrates transfer multiple file collectively utilizing mv.

$ contact aaa bbb ccc
$ mv aaa bbb ccc dir1/

We are able to additionally transfer recordsdata and directories collectively. On this case, mv interprets the final argument because the vacation spot folder. You may also make the most of the -t choice to specify the goal vacation spot.

15. Transfer Information Utilizing Wildcards

The Linux mv command doesn’t assist common expressions. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless use some wildcard characters to carry out some fundamental sample matching. Take a fast take a look at the beneath instance to see how we will use wildcards with mv.

$ contact aaa.mp3 bbb.mp3 ccc.mp3
$ mv *.mp3 dir1/ # strikes all mp3 recordsdata
$ contact AAA BBB CCC
$ mv [[:upper:]]* dir1   # strikes all recordsdata that has uppercase names
$ mv *[[:lower:]] dir1   # strikes all recordsdata that has lowercase names

There are a number of extra wildcards supported by mv. Though not very in depth, they assist throughout routine file processing operations.

16. Show Progress Bar

Usually, the mv command performs its operations inside an affordable timeframe. Nevertheless, it will probably take comparatively longer if you end up shifting very giant paperwork. Customers could even factor that the system has hanged if it takes too lengthy. We are able to keep away from this downside by forcing mv to show a progress bar that retains the consumer knowledgeable.

$ mv dir1/*.mp3 . & progress -mp $!

This command will transfer all mp3 recordsdata from dir1/ to the Check listing and can present a sensible progress meter. We’re utilizing the Linux package deal ‘progress‘ for this. You possibly can set up this utilizing the beneath command.

$ sudo apt set up progress

17. Transfer Information Utilizing Brace Growth

The Linux command shell permits customers to generate literal combos utilizing a way known as brace enlargement. Though many individuals are inclined to complicate this, in observe, it’s fairly easy. Take a detailed take a look at the next examples to learn the way brace enlargement works in Linux and different Unix-like methods.

$ rm new && contact new.txt new.pdf new.html
$ mv new.pdf,txt,html dir1/new/ # brace enlargement

So any file known as new that has .pdf/.txt/.html extensions shall be moved to the vacation spot listing. Since we’re producing the filename literals from our brace, we name this operation brace enlargement.

18. Transfer Information Based mostly on Measurement

File processing includes a whole lot of transfer operations, and huge recordsdata are inclined to take a big quantity of CPU time. So, many admins again up their paperwork primarily based on their measurement. We present readers transfer recordsdata primarily based on their measurement utilizing the mv and discover instructions.

$ discover . -type f -size +1G -exec mv "" large_files/ ;

The above command will transfer all recordsdata better than 1GB from the present working listing to large_files. You possibly can merely change the worth of the dimensions parameter to customise your transfer operation.

19. Transfer Information Based mostly on Modification Date

The modification date is one other widespread criterion used when backing up system knowledge. You could find all recordsdata which can be older than a particular period of time utilizing the next command.

$ discover . -mtime +90 -exec mv "" old_files/ ;

This command will transfer all recordsdata which can be greater than 3 months (90 days) outdated into a brand new listing known as old_files. The notable factor right here is that the supplied argument is in days.

20. Rename A number of Information

By default, the mv utility can’t rename a number of recordsdata on the identical time. Nevertheless, we will nonetheless use different instruments like discover alongside mv for such superior file operations. The beneath command will rename all .php recordsdata to .html recordsdata.

$ contact test1,test2,test3.php
$ discover . -depth -name "*.php" -exec sh -c 'f=""; mv -- "$f" "$f%.php.html"' ;

This command will rename every .php file to .html file utilizing mv, and the exec swap of the Linux discover command.

21. Find Binary Info of Linux mv Command

We are able to discover out the place the mv command is positioned utilizing the Linux “which” command. It prints the title of the paths or hyperlinks that deal with a particular command, like mv.

$ which mv

You may also use the “whereis” command in Linux to show further info like the situation of the mv binary and all related handbook recordsdata, as proven beneath.

$ whereis mv
mv: /usr/bin/mv /usr/share/man/man1/mv.1.gz

22. Show Model Info

The model info of Linux terminal instructions permits us to seek out the particular launch of a package deal. We are able to simply view this model info for mv, as demonstrated within the beneath instance.

$ mv --version

It is going to print out the discharge info for the mv package deal put in in your system alongside another info. This info contains the title of any dependencies and individuals who authored mv.

23. Show Assist Web page

The assistance web page accommodates summarized info of all out there choices for the mv utility. It’s a useful method of remembering hardly used choices.

$ mv --help

Since mv helps just a few command-line arguments, it’s comparatively simpler to memorize them. Fortunately, you’ll be able to at all times seek the advice of the assistance web page for fast info on any explicit choice.

24. Show Man Web page

Opposite to the summarized info supplied by assist, the person web page gives much more detailed perception. Check with the beneath command everytime you wish to perceive an choice or a particular utilization in additional element.

$ man mv

It ought to show an in depth information explaining all of the completely different choices out there to mv. You must at all times undergo the person web page earlier than making an attempt any instructions that modify the filesystem.

25. Examine Alias

Many Linux distribution makes use of pre-configured aliases to implement normal command-line choices for packages. You possibly can simply test if mv is an alias to one thing utilizing the beneath command.

$ alias | grep -iw mv
$ kind mv

Nevertheless, the final command is not going to work in case your Linux system has hashed the mv command.


Linux mv command permits us to carry out many file operations like shifting recordsdata, renaming them, creating backups, and so forth. Though it permits solely a restricted variety of choices, we will mix mv with many Linux terminal instructions just like the discover command and create extra complicated command combos. Now we have outlined the 25 greatest examples of mv in on a regular basis computing. A few of them are pure fundamental, whereas others could be useful when fixing extra dynamic issues. Hopefully, now we have delivered the important insights you had been on the lookout for. Publish your ideas within the remark part and tell us if in case you have any questions.


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