Linux – In what order are files and directories copied when using Linux cp -R


If I execute the following command:

cp -R /myfiles /mydestination

If myfiles contains several sub-directories and files, in what order will they be copied?

For example, directories might be named 0123a, 9993c, myfolder, xfolder.

They are not copied in alphabetical order OR in date order OR in the order they appear when using a standard ls command as far as I can tell, so what actually does determine the order?

I am trying to determine the order that the cp command uses in order to determine how far along my copy command made it before it stopped. For example, I was hoping to be able to determine it copied 3 of the 4 directories successfully.

Best Answer

The order that they're stored/returned in the filesystem. For "unsorted" filesystems this would generally be their creation order. For "sorted" filesystems (e.g. ext3/4 with dir_index) this would be the order used in the filesystem index.

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