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cp -iu always prompts

From: Becker, Paul
Subject: cp -iu always prompts
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 14:23:18 -0500

Currently, "cp -ui" always prompts the user, even if nothing

is going to be attempted to be copied. I would expect to only be

prompted if the file is going to be copied. I don't think the user

should be prompted for every single file even if it is not going

to be copied anyway.


I did see the NEWS for 6.4 that states the following:

  cp -i and mv -i occasionally neglected to prompt when the copy or move

  action was bound to fail.  This bug dates back to before


But I don't think this condition of "not copying a file because of

the date" is a failure. Files with newer dates would not be considered

for copy and not prompted for. The copy of data would not fail because

it is not even attempted.


This 'cp' option is good for syncing directories interactively, but I

only want to be prompted for files that actually changed and could be

(especially if the file list is large and the changes are few.)


--Thank you




example on cygwin - not what I would expect


% cp --version

cp (GNU coreutils) 6.7

Copyright (C) 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This is free software.  You may redistribute copies of it under the
terms of

the GNU General Public License <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.

There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.


% ls -l a b

-rw-rw-r-- 1 pbecker Domain Users 29 Dec 27 12:27 a

-rw-rw-r-- 1 pbecker Domain Users 58 Dec 27 12:28 b


% cp -iuv a b

cp: overwrite `b'? y


% cksum a b

920498787 29 a

3888989962 58 b




example on Redhat Linux - which works as I would expect



% cp --version

cp (coreutils) 4.5.3

Written by Torbjorn Granlund, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.


Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is



% ls -l a b

-rw-rw-r--    1 pbecker  software       29 Dec 27 12:26 a

-rw-rw-r--    1 pbecker  software       58 Dec 27 12:27 b


% cp -iuv a b




Paul Becker


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