Linux mv Command Tutorial


Linux mv command is used to move or rename files. We generally provide the source and destination files and directories to mv command.

mv Command Syntax

The Linux mv command has the following simple syntax where SOURCE and DESTINATION are a must.

mv [OPTION]... SOURCE... DESTINATION
  • SOURCE is the source file or directory which will be moved to the DESTINATION
  • DESTINATION is the destination file or folder which will be moved from the SOURCE
  • OPTION is used to change provides different behavior for the mv command and optional by default.

Move File or Folder

The regular usage of mv command is moving files or directories. We will provide source files or directory and destination file or directory. In this example, we will move or rename directory named backup into live .

$ mv backup live

Force Moving File or Folder

If there are files and folders in the destination the mv command will stop moving. We can force move operation with -f option.

$ mv -f backup live

Ask Before Overwrite

We can prompt before overwriting the destination file. We will use -i option for this. In order to accept overwrite we should answer with y or Y .

$ mv -i backup live

Verbose Mode – Print Every Move Operation

While moving files we may need to list all moved files. We call this verbose mode. This will list moved files line by line with -v option like below.

$ mv -v backup live

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