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Re: mv command and parameter -i

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: mv command and parameter -i
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 21:38:45 -0700

> I would like to report a bug for the mv command.

Thank your for your report.  It is most appreciated.  However what you
have seen is not a bug but normal program behavior.

> I wanted to set an alias for mv in the .bashrc file, but the
> parameter -i for the mv command didn´t work.  I tryed to type mv -i
> [file] [new filename] for itself and it still didn´t ask me if I
> would like to change my file name or not. It just changed it without
> asking.

> So the parameter '-i' didn´t work.

You have a misunderstanding of what the mv -i option does.  It does
not prompt unless it is *overwriting* a file.  The -i option is
documented in the online info pages for mv.  Typing 'info mv' will
provide you with the documentation.

'mv --help' output:
  -i, --interactive            prompt before overwrite

'info mv' output:
     Prompt whether to overwrite each existing destination file,
     regardless of its permissions.  If the response does not begin
     with `y' or `Y', the file is skipped.

HP-UX 'man mv' output:
           -i             Causes mv to write a prompt to standard output
                          before moving a file that would overwrite an
                          existing file.  If the response from the standard
                          input is affirmative, the file is moved if
                          permissions allow the move.

http://www.unix-systems.org/single_unix_specification_v2/xcu/mv.html docs:

  -i Prompt for confirmation if the destination path exists.

All are in agreement that 'mv -i' only prompts if a file would be


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