install - copy files and set attributes


install [OPTION]... [-T] SOURCE DEST install [OPTION]... SOURCE... DIRECTORY install [OPTION]... -t DIRECTORY SOURCE... install [OPTION]... -d DIRECTORY...


This install program copies files (often just compiled) into destination locations you choose. If you want to download and install a ready-to-use package on a GNU/Linux system, you should instead be using a package manager like yum(1) or apt-get(1).

In the first three forms, copy SOURCE to DEST or multiple SOURCE(s) to the existing DIRECTORY, while setting permission modes and owner/group. In the 4th form, create all components of the given DIRECTORY(ies).

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
 make a backup of each existing destination file
-b like --backup but does not accept an argument
-c (ignored)
-C, --compare
 compare each pair of source and destination files, and in some cases, do not modify the destination at all
-d, --directory
 treat all arguments as directory names; create all components of the specified directories
-D create all leading components of DEST except the last, then copy SOURCE to DEST
-g, --group=GROUP
 set group ownership, instead of process’ current group
-m, --mode=MODE
 set permission mode (as in chmod), instead of rwxr-xr-x
-o, --owner=OWNER
 set ownership (super-user only)
-p, --preserve-timestamps
 apply access/modification times of SOURCE files to corresponding destination files
-s, --strip
 strip symbol tables
 program used to strip binaries
-S, --suffix=SUFFIX
 override the usual backup suffix
-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY
 copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY
-T, --no-target-directory
 treat DEST as a normal file
-v, --verbose
 print the name of each directory as it is created
 preserve SELinux security context
-Z, --context=CONTEXT
 set SELinux security context of files and directories
--help display this help and exit
 output version information and exit
The backup suffix is ‘~’, unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:
none, off
 never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
 make numbered backups
existing, nil
 numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
 always make simple backups


Written by David MacKenzie.


Report install bugs to GNU coreutils home page: <> General help using GNU software: <>


Copyright © 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


The full documentation for install is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and install programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info coreutils 'install invocation'
should give you access to the complete manual.

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