MV(1) BSD General Commands Manual MV(1)NAMEmv — move files
SYNOPSISmv [-f | -i | -n] [-v] source target
mv [-f | -i | -n] [-v] 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 oper‐
and. 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 -f option overrides any previous -i or -n options.)
-i Cause 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’ or ‘Y’, the move is
attempted. (The -i option overrides any previous -f or -n
-n Do not overwrite an existing file. (The -n option overrides any
previous -f or -i options.)
-v Cause mv to be verbose, showing files after they are moved.
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 -pRP source_file destination && \
rm -rf source_file
The mv utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
SEE ALSOcp(1), rm(1), symlink(7)COMPATIBILITY
The -n and -v options are non-standard and their use in scripts is not
The mv utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”) compatible.
A mv command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
BSD July 9, 2002 BSD