linux cp and mv will not overwrite due to alias!

This through me for a loop when I would do a cp -rf or mv -f nothing would get overwritten even if piping y or yes to the command.

Type alias and you'll see why:

alias cp='cp -i'
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'

The -i is a safeguard against messing things up but however does mess things up worse when you know what you're doing and trying to update or upgrade applications/files etc...

alias is a built-in feature of bash where you can have an alias eg. type a command and above it will actually execute a different command or append switches transparently and automatically with you the user seeing or noticing.

You can usually find alias entries in ~/.bashrc or if it doesn't exist in /etc/bashrc:

cat .bashrc
# .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

 

Solution

You can remove those aliases if you like because it really requires interaction to overwrite files based on those aliases and even piping yes/y to the answers has no impact since it is not truly interactive.

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