script - How do I copy a file in Python?




python3 copy file (10)

How do I copy a file in Python?

I couldn't find anything under os.


shutil has many methods you can use. One of which is:

from shutil import copyfile

copyfile(src, dst)

Copy the contents of the file named src to a file named dst. The destination location must be writable; otherwise, an IOError exception will be raised. If dst already exists, it will be replaced. Special files such as character or block devices and pipes cannot be copied with this function. src and dst are path names given as strings.


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

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"

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


I suggest using Swati's answer, but supposing you have a text file and don't want to use additional libraries in your code just to copy it, you can use the following one-liner:

with open(source, 'r') as src, open(dest, 'w') as dst: dst.write(src.read())

In Python, you can copy the files using


import os
import shutil
import subprocess

1) Copying files using shutil module

shutil.copyfile signature

shutil.copyfile(src_file, dest_file, *, follow_symlinks=True)

# example    
shutil.copyfile('source.txt', 'destination.txt')

shutil.copy signature

shutil.copy(src_file, dest_file, *, follow_symlinks=True)

# example
shutil.copy('source.txt', 'destination.txt')

shutil.copy2 signature

shutil.copy2(src_file, dest_file, *, follow_symlinks=True)

# example
shutil.copy2('source.txt', 'destination.txt')  

shutil.copyfileobj signature

shutil.copyfileobj(src_file_object, dest_file_object[, length])

# example
file_src = 'source.txt'  
f_src = open(file_src, 'rb')

file_dest = 'destination.txt'  
f_dest = open(file_dest, 'wb')

shutil.copyfileobj(f_src, f_dest)  

2) Copying files using os module

os.popen signature

os.popen(cmd[, mode[, bufsize]])

# example
# In Unix/Linux
os.popen('cp source.txt destination.txt') 

# In Windows
os.popen('copy source.txt destination.txt')

os.system signature

os.system(command)


# In Linux/Unix
os.system('cp source.txt destination.txt')  

# In Windows
os.system('copy source.txt destination.txt')

3) Copying files using subprocess module

subprocess.call signature

subprocess.call(args, *, stdin=None, stdout=None, stderr=None, shell=False)

# example (WARNING: setting `shell=True` might be a security-risk)
# In Linux/Unix
status = subprocess.call('cp source.txt destination.txt', shell=True) 

# In Windows
status = subprocess.call('copy source.txt destination.txt', shell=True)

subprocess.check_output signature

subprocess.check_output(args, *, stdin=None, stderr=None, shell=False, universal_newlines=False)

# example (WARNING: setting `shell=True` might be a security-risk)
# In Linux/Unix
status = subprocess.check_output('cp source.txt destination.txt', shell=True)

# In Windows
status = subprocess.check_output('copy source.txt destination.txt', shell=True)


Use the shutil module.

copyfile(src, dst)

Copy the contents of the file named src to a file named dst. The destination location must be writable; otherwise, an IOError exception will be raised. If dst already exists, it will be replaced. Special files such as character or block devices and pipes cannot be copied with this function. src and dst are path names given as strings.

Take a look at filesys for all the file and directory handling functions available in standard Python modules.


You can use one of the copy functions from the shutil package:

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━
Function              preserves     supports          accepts     copies other
                      permissions   directory dest.   file obj    metadata  
――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――
shutil.copy              ✔             ✔                 ☐           ☐
shutil.copy2             ✔             ✔                 ☐           ✔
shutil.copyfile          ☐             ☐                 ☐           ☐
shutil.copyfileobj       ☐             ☐                 ✔           ☐
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Example:

import shutil
shutil.copy('/etc/hostname', '/var/tmp/testhostname')

┌──────────────────┬───────────────┬──────────────────┬──────────────┬───────────┐
│     Function     │Copies metadata│Copies permissions│Can use buffer│Dest dir OK│
├──────────────────┼───────────────┼──────────────────┼──────────────┼───────────┤
│shutil.copy       │      No       │        Yes       │    No        │    Yes    │
│shutil.copyfile   │      No       │        No        │    No        │    No     │
│shutil.copy2      │      Yes      │        Yes       │    No        │    Yes    │
│shutil.copyfileobj│      No       │        No        │    Yes       │    No     │
└──────────────────┴───────────────┴──────────────────┴──────────────┴───────────┘

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






copyfile