What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags



Psst. Open beta.

Wow, didn't really expect you to read this far down. The latest iteration of the site is in open beta. It's a gentle open beta-- not in prime-time just yet. It's being hosted over at UpGuard (link) and you are more than welcome to give it a shot. Couple things:

  • » The open beta is running a copy of the database that will not carry over to the final version. Don't post anything you don't mind losing.
  • » If you wish to use your user account, you will probably need to reset your password.
Your feedback is appreciated via the form on the beta page. Thanks! -Jon & CLFU Team

Say no to overwriting if cp -i is the default alias.

Terminal - Say no to overwriting if cp -i is the default alias.
\cp something toSomeWhereElse
2010-09-25 03:07:04
User: xakon
Say no to overwriting if cp -i is the default alias.

If the problem is an aliased synonym for a command, you can still execute the original command by pre-pending it with a reverse-slash '\'. This works at least in Bash, but I guess the aliasing system refers definitely to Bash (and not only).


There are 6 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
/bin/cp -n <from> <to>
yes n | cp something toSomeWhereElse

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

(it's =cp on zsh)

but more to the point, cp will overwrite without the -i option as the default

-i turns cp into interactive mode, so it asks each time you try to ovewrite (hence using "yes" to answer "no" to each inquiry)

so what you really need is

\cp -n something toSomeWhereElse


=cp -n something toSomeWhereElse

on zsh (regardless of what cp is aliased to)

Comment by infinull 323 weeks and 6 days ago

works for rm too. :)

Comment by Habitual 323 weeks and 5 days ago

Generally - escape a command to avoid using an alias.

Bad description.

That is actually NOT an alternative way to say no\yes to

overwrite with cp -i, but a way of using the original command.

Comment by RanyAlbeg 323 weeks and 5 days ago

Actually, it works indeed for any command which has been aliased and has its name hidden by an alias declaration. The very useful one used to be


which used to be overridden in past times by crackers who had penetrated a UNIX system.

I agree with the fellow that the description is totally wrong. It was only the case that another user proposed a similar approach with this title at the beginning.

Comment by xakon 323 weeks and 4 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.