mv — move (rename) files

Examples (TL;DR)




Rename SOURCE to DEST, or move SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.


make a backup of each existing destination file


like --backup but does not accept an argument

-f, --force

do not prompt before overwriting

-i, --interactive

prompt before overwrite

-n, --no-clobber

do not overwrite an existing file

If you specify more than one of -i, -f, -n, only the final one takes effect.


remove any trailing slashes from each SOURCE argument

-S, --suffix=SUFFIX

override the usual backup suffix

-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY

move all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY

-T, --no-target-directory

treat DEST as a normal file

-u, --update

move only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination file or when the destination file is missing

-v, --verbose

explain what is being done

-Z, --context

set SELinux security context of destination file to default type


display this help and exit


output version information and exit

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable.  Here are the values:

none, off

never make backups (even if --backup is given)

numbered, t

make numbered backups

existing, nil

numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise

simple, never

always make simple backups


Written by Mike Parker, David MacKenzie, and Jim Meyering.

Reporting Bugs

GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report any translation bugs to <>

See Also


Full documentation <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) mv invocation'

Referenced By

acl(5), filechan(8), forward(5), freeze(1), gio(1), icmd(1), inotify(7), lsof(1), mksh(1), mmv(1), nbdkit-rate-filter(1), prename(1), ptrash(1), refile(1), ren(1), rename(1), rename(2), shtool(1), shtool-move(1), sshfs(1), symlink(7).

October 2019 GNU coreutils 8.31