Technology – The Linux Move (mv) Command

The Linux move command (mv) is one of the essential commands, which can be very useful in Linux, Unix, and AIX.  The primary purpose of the move command is obviously to move files, and of course, directories.   The move command may also be used to rename files and to make backups.

Move Command Syntax

$ mv [options] source (file or directory)  destination

Move Command options

option description
mv -f force move by overwriting destination file without prompt
mv -i interactive prompt before overwriting
mv -u update – move when the source is newer than the destination
mv -v verbose – print source and destination files
MV – t explicitly saying to move the file or directory here, rather trying to fit everything into the last argument.
mv * Move all (Multiple) files to a specific director without listing by name

For More move command details see the Linux documentation manuals using the man command

$ man mv

mv command examples

Here are some quick and very simple move command (MV) examples for reference.

Move Move to files  to the /Archive/ directory:

$ mv happy.txt garden.txt /Archive/

Move all “.txt” files in the current directory to subdirectory backup:

$ mv *.txt backup

Move all files in subdirectory ‘backup’ to current directory:

$ mv backup/*

Rename file happy.txt to happy.bak filename:

$ mv happy.txt happy.bak

Rename directory backup to backup2:

$ mv backup backup2

Update – move when happy.txt is newer or missing in target directory:

$ mv -u happy.txt backup

Move happy.txt and prompt before overwrite backup / happy.txt:

$ mv -v happy.txt backup

Linux mv command summary with examples