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How can I do this on the command line?

e.g. copy /dir/another/file to /tmp/ so I have /tmp/dir/another/file

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Please edit and provide an example of what you are trying to achieve – Paul Jul 25 '12 at 14:10
My guess is that he wants to copy foo1/bar/cdr/myfile to /dstdir and have it create /dstdir/foo1/bar/cdr/myfile – Nifle Jul 25 '12 at 14:26
up vote 19 down vote accepted
cp --parents /dir/another/file /tmp

will do exactly what you want.

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rsync can be a good help for this :

rsync -Ravz my/first/dir/file.txt another_dir

will gave as result

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You can use tar to preserve paths while copying files:

tar cf - /dir/another/file | (cd /tmp && tar xf -)
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