Linux cp mv overwrite without prompt (disable interactive mode)

Linux cp mv disable prompt
Some Linux distributions (for example: RedHat) have aliases configured in the system, especially for root user, which modify basic command line operations like: cp, mv by adding “-i” parameter to prevent user from accidental overwriting or deleting files (interactive mode). This can be disturbing, especially when we are dealing with many files at a time. To get rid of this issue we can modify aliases in the system to disable interactive mode.

Verify current aliases:

[root@tuxfixer ~]# alias
alias cp='cp -i'
alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'
alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'
alias grep='grep --color=auto'
alias l.='ls -d .* --color=auto'
alias ll='ls -l --color=auto'
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias mv='mv -i'
alias rm='rm -i'
alias which='alias | /usr/bin/which --tty-only --read-alias --show-dot --show-tilde'

To disable interactive mode for copy and move operations, we need to edit /root/.bashrc file and comment out the corresponding lines:

# .bashrc

# User specific aliases and functions

alias rm='rm -i'
# alias cp='cp -i'
# alias mv='mv -i'

# Source global definitions
if [ -f /etc/bashrc ]; then
        . /etc/bashrc
fi

Now log out and log in again for the changes to take effect and verify aliases after changes:

[root@tuxfixer ~]# alias
alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'
alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'
alias grep='grep --color=auto'
alias l.='ls -d .* --color=auto'
alias ll='ls -l --color=auto'
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias rm='rm -i'
alias which='alias | /usr/bin/which --tty-only --read-alias --show-dot --show-tilde'

You shouldn’t be now prompted for confirmation when overwriting files during copy and move operations.

One thought on “Linux cp mv overwrite without prompt (disable interactive mode)

  1. Kiren November 11, 2018 at 17:35

    A temporary fix is just redefine the alias for this session:
    alias cp=”cp”

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