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What is the difference between

cp -a Dir NewDir

and

cp -pr Dir NewDir

?

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-a is equivalent to -dpr, which means copy symlinks literally (instead of their targets), preserve mode, ownership and timestamps, and recurse (copy subdirectories)

-pr would follow symlinks and copy their targets, instead of physically copying the symlink. It would still preserve mode, ownership and timestamps, and still recurse.

man cp will tell you all you need to know.

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