How do I copy a file in python?


Answers

copy2(src,dst) is often more useful than copyfile(src,dst) because:

  • it allows dst to be a directory (instead of the complete target filename), in which case the basename of src is used for creating the new file;
  • it preserves the original modification and access info (mtime and atime) in the file metadata (however, this comes with a slight overhead).

Here is a short example:

import shutil
shutil.copy2('/src/dir/file.ext', '/dst/dir/newname.ext') # complete target filename given
shutil.copy2('/src/file.ext', '/dst/dir') # target filename is /dst/dir/file.ext
Question

How do I copy a file in Python? I couldn't find anything under os.




Firstly, I made an exhaustive cheatsheet of shutil methods for your reference.

shutil_methods =
{'copy':['shutil.copyfileobj',
          'shutil.copyfile',
          'shutil.copymode',
          'shutil.copystat',
          'shutil.copy',
          'shutil.copy2',
          'shutil.copytree',],
 'move':['shutil.rmtree',
         'shutil.move',],
 'exception': ['exception shutil.SameFileError',
                 'exception shutil.Error'],
 'others':['shutil.disk_usage',
             'shutil.chown',
             'shutil.which',
             'shutil.ignore_patterns',]
}

Secondly, explain methods of copy in exmaples:

  1. shutil.copyfileobj(fsrc, fdst[, length]) manipulate opened objects
In [3]: src = '~/Documents/Head+First+SQL.pdf'
In [4]: dst = '~/desktop'
In [5]: shutil.copyfileobj(src, dst)
AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'read'
#copy the file object
In [7]: with open(src, 'rb') as f1,open(os.path.join(dst,'test.pdf'), 'wb') as f2:
    ...:      shutil.copyfileobj(f1, f2)
In [8]: os.stat(os.path.join(dst,'test.pdf'))
Out[8]: os.stat_result(st_mode=33188, st_ino=8598319475, st_dev=16777220, st_nlink=1, st_uid=501, st_gid=20, st_size=13507926, st_atime=1516067347, st_mtime=1516067335, st_ctime=1516067345)
  1. shutil.copyfile(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True) Copy and rename
In [9]: shutil.copyfile(src, dst)
IsADirectoryError: [Errno 21] Is a directory: ~/desktop'
#so dst should be a filename instead of a directory name
  1. shutil.copy() Copy without preseving the metadata
In [10]: shutil.copy(src, dst)
Out[10]: ~/desktop/Head+First+SQL.pdf'
#check their metadata
In [25]: os.stat(src)
Out[25]: os.stat_result(st_mode=33188, st_ino=597749, st_dev=16777220, st_nlink=1, st_uid=501, st_gid=20, st_size=13507926, st_atime=1516066425, st_mtime=1493698739, st_ctime=1514871215)
In [26]: os.stat(os.path.join(dst, 'Head+First+SQL.pdf'))
Out[26]: os.stat_result(st_mode=33188, st_ino=8598313736, st_dev=16777220, st_nlink=1, st_uid=501, st_gid=20, st_size=13507926, st_atime=1516066427, st_mtime=1516066425, st_ctime=1516066425)
# st_atime,st_mtime,st_ctime changed
  1. shutil.copy2() Copy with preseving the metadata
In [30]: shutil.copy2(src, dst)
Out[30]: ~/desktop/Head+First+SQL.pdf'
In [31]: os.stat(src)
Out[31]: os.stat_result(st_mode=33188, st_ino=597749, st_dev=16777220, st_nlink=1, st_uid=501, st_gid=20, st_size=13507926, st_atime=1516067055, st_mtime=1493698739, st_ctime=1514871215)
In [32]: os.stat(os.path.join(dst, 'Head+First+SQL.pdf'))
Out[32]: os.stat_result(st_mode=33188, st_ino=8598313736, st_dev=16777220, st_nlink=1, st_uid=501, st_gid=20, st_size=13507926, st_atime=1516067063, st_mtime=1493698739, st_ctime=1516067055)
# Preseved st_mtime
  1. `shutil.copytree()``

Recursively copy an entire directory tree rooted at src, returning the destination directory




Copying a file is a relatively straightforward operation as shown by the examples below, but you should instead use the shutil stdlib module for that.

def copyfileobj_example(source, dest, buffer_size=1024*1024):
    """      
    Copy a file from source to dest. source and dest
    must be file-like objects, i.e. any object with a read or
    write method, like for example StringIO.
    """
    while True:
        copy_buffer = source.read(buffer_size)
        if not copy_buffer:
            break
        dest.write(copy_buffer)

If you want to copy by filename you could do something like this:

def copyfile_example(source, dest):
    # Beware, this example does not handle any edge cases!
    with open(source, 'rb') as src, open(dest, 'wb') as dst:
        copyfileobj_example(src, dst)



Directory and File copy example - From Tim Golden's Python Stuff:

http://timgolden.me.uk/python/win32_how_do_i/copy-a-file.html

import os
import shutil
import tempfile

filename1 = tempfile.mktemp (".txt")
open (filename1, "w").close ()
filename2 = filename1 + ".copy"
print filename1, "=>", filename2

shutil.copy (filename1, filename2)

if os.path.isfile (filename2): print "Success"

dirname1 = tempfile.mktemp (".dir")
os.mkdir (dirname1)
dirname2 = dirname1 + ".copy"
print dirname1, "=>", dirname2

shutil.copytree (dirname1, dirname2)

if os.path.isdir (dirname2): print "Success"



For large files, what I did was read the file line by line and read each line into an array. Then, once the array reached a certain size, append it to a new file.

for line in open("file.txt", "r"):
    list.append(line)
    if len(list) == 1000000: 
        output.writelines(list)
        del list[:]



Look at module shutil. It contains function copyfile(src, dst)




from subprocess import call
call("cp -p <file> <file>", shell=True)



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