MV(1) BSD Reference Manual MV(1)
mv - move files
mv [-f | -i] source target
mv [-f | -i] source ... 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
operand. 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
path. (The -i option is ignored if the -f option is specified.)
-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 at-
It is an error for either the source operand or the destination path to
specify a directory unless both do.
If the destination path does not have a mode which permits writing, mv
prompts the user for confirmation as specified for the -i option.
As the rename(2) call does not work across file systems, mv uses cp(1)
and rm(1) to accomplish the move. The effect is equivalent to:
rm -f destination_path && \
cp -pr source_file destination && \
rm -rf source_file
The mv utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
The mv utility is expected to be IEEE Std1003.2 (``POSIX'') compatible.
4.4BSD May 31, 1993 1