I would like cp to prompt before overwriting so I am using -i.

(I might sometimes use an alias for cp, or similar, so cp always occurs with -i).

I may want to say overwrite all. I know that's the default but since i'm using -i I don't see that.

I want to easily be able to make it do 'yes' to all, or 'no' to all.

I am not asking how to bypass an alias, I want the -i.

Here is my attempt at forcing yes, given -i.

~$ mkdir test1
~$ cd test1
~/test1$ mkdir smalls
~/test1$ touch a.a
~/test1$ touch b.b
~/test1$ cp -i ?.? smalls
~/test1$ cp -i ?.? smalls
overwrite smalls/a.a? (y/n [n]) y
overwrite smalls/b.b? (y/n [n]) y
~/test1$ yes|cp -i ?.? smalls
overwrite smalls/a.a? (y/n [n]) overwrite smalls/b.b? (y/n [n]) ~/test1$ 
~/test1$ yes ''|cp -i ?.? smalls
overwrite smalls/a.a? (y/n [n]) not overwritten
overwrite smalls/b.b? (y/n [n]) not overwritten

So I manage to force 'y' to all but then I don't get new lines.

When I try yes ''| then it doesn't send a yes.

I'd also like to be able to pass an 'n'/'no' too.

And I may have many files so i'm not looking to manually type 'y' or 'n' for each file.

I don't mind a solution that doesn't involve the 'yes' command.


Plenty of ways to bypass the alias to use native cp:

  • Use the command builtin: command cp
  • Use the full path of the command: /bin/cp
  • Add a \ anywhere in the command name, for example: \cp
  • Quote the command: "cp" or 'cp'
  • -1 why on earth are you telling me how to bypass an alias, I very clearly never asked such a thing at all – barlop May 24 '19 at 21:40
  • I have now added this line I am not asking how to bypass an alias, I want the -i. making it even more clear and obvious. – barlop May 24 '19 at 21:42
  • And if I wanted to ask how to bypass an alias, i'd have asked that, without any of the other stuff, but I didn't. – barlop May 24 '19 at 21:43
  • Sorry, I thought you wanted a practical solution. – xenoid May 24 '19 at 22:46
  • a solution to the question I asked, whose first line includes the words "I am using -i." – barlop May 24 '19 at 22:48

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