cp - Copy files and objects
gsutil cp [OPTION]... src_url dst_url gsutil cp [OPTION]... src_url... dst_url gsutil cp [OPTION]... -I dst_url
gsutil cp command allows you to copy data between your local file
system and the cloud, within the cloud, and between
cloud storage providers. For example, to upload all text files from the
local directory to a bucket, you can run:
gsutil cp *.txt gs://my-bucket
You can also download data from a bucket. The following command downloads all text files from the top-level of a bucket to your current directory:
gsutil cp gs://my-bucket/*.txt .
You can use the
-n option to prevent overwriting the content of
existing files. The following example downloads text files from a bucket
without clobbering the data in your directory:
gsutil cp -n gs://my-bucket/*.txt .
-r option to copy an entire directory tree.
For example, to upload the directory tree
gsutil cp -r dir gs://my-bucket
If you have a large number of files to transfer, you can perform a parallel
multi-threaded/multi-processing copy using the
-m option (see gsutil help options):
gsutil -m cp -r dir gs://my-bucket
You can use the
-I option with
stdin to specify a list of URLs to
copy, one per line. This allows you to use gsutil
in a pipeline to upload or download objects as generated by a program:
cat filelist | gsutil -m cp -I gs://my-bucket
cat filelist | gsutil -m cp -I ./download_dir
where the output of
cat filelist is a list of files, cloud URLs, and
wildcards of files and cloud URLs.
How Names Are Constructed
gsutil cp command attempts to name objects in ways that are consistent with the
cp command. This means that names are constructed depending
on whether you're performing a recursive directory copy or copying
individually-named objects, or whether you're copying to an existing or
When you perform recursive directory copies, object names are constructed to
mirror the source directory structure starting at the point of recursive
processing. For example, if
dir1/dir2 contains the file
a/b/c, then the
following command creates the object
gsutil cp -r dir1/dir2 gs://my-bucket
In contrast, copying individually-named files results in objects named by
the final path component of the source files. For example, assuming again that
a/b/c, the following command creates the object
gsutil cp dir1/dir2/** gs://my-bucket
Note that in the above example, the '**' wildcard matches all names
dir. The wildcard '*' matches names just one level deep. For
more details, see URI wildcards.
The same rules apply for uploads and downloads: recursive copies of buckets and bucket subdirectories produce a mirrored filename structure, while copying individually or wildcard-named objects produce flatly-named files.
In addition, the resulting names depend on whether the destination subdirectory
exists. For example, if
gs://my-bucket/subdir exists as a subdirectory,
the following command creates the object
gsutil cp -r dir1/dir2 gs://my-bucket/subdir
In contrast, if
gs://my-bucket/subdir does not exist, this same
command creates the object
Copying To/From Subdirectories; Distributing Transfers Across Machines
You can use gsutil to copy to and from subdirectories by using a command like this:
gsutil cp -r dir gs://my-bucket/data
dir and all of its files and nested subdirectories to be
copied under the specified destination, resulting in objects with names like
gs://my-bucket/data/dir/a/b/c. Similarly, you can download from bucket
subdirectories using the following command:
gsutil cp -r gs://my-bucket/data dir
This causes everything nested under
gs://my-bucket/data to be downloaded
dir, resulting in files with names like
Copying subdirectories is useful if you want to add data to an existing
bucket directory structure over time. It's also useful if you want
to parallelize uploads and downloads across multiple machines (potentially
reducing overall transfer time compared with running
cp on one machine). For example, if your bucket contains this structure:
gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_01/ gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_02/ ... gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_99/
you can perform concurrent downloads across 3 machines by running these commands on each machine, respectively:
gsutil -m cp -r gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_[0-3]* dir gsutil -m cp -r gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_[4-6]* dir gsutil -m cp -r gs://my-bucket/data/result_set_[7-9]* dir
dir could be a local directory on each machine, or a
directory mounted off of a shared file server. The performance of the latter
depends on several factors, so we recommend experimenting
to find out what works best for your computing environment.
Copying In The Cloud And Metadata Preservation
If both the source and destination URL are cloud URLs from the same
provider, gsutil copies data "in the cloud" (without downloading
to and uploading from the machine where you run gsutil). In addition to
the performance and cost advantages of doing this, copying in the cloud
preserves metadata such as
Cache-Control. In contrast,
when you download data from the cloud, it ends up in a file with
no associated metadata, unless you have some way to keep
or re-create that metadata.
Copies spanning locations and/or storage classes cause data to be rewritten in the cloud, which may take some time (but is still faster than downloading and re-uploading). Such operations can be resumed with the same command if they are interrupted, so long as the command parameters are identical.
Note that by default, the gsutil
cp command does not copy the object
ACL to the new object, and instead uses the default bucket ACL (see
gsutil help defacl). You can override this behavior with the
When copying in the cloud, if the destination bucket has Object Versioning
enabled, by default
gsutil cp copies only live versions of the
source object. For example, the following command causes only the single live
gs://bucket1/obj to be copied to
gs://bucket2, even if there
are noncurrent versions of
gsutil cp gs://bucket1/obj gs://bucket2
To also copy noncurrent versions, use the
gsutil cp -A gs://bucket1/obj gs://bucket2
The top-level gsutil
-m flag is not allowed when using the
cp -A flag.
gsutil automatically performs checksum validation for copies to and from Cloud Storage. For more information, see Hashes and ETags.
cp command retries when failures occur, but if enough failures happen
during a particular copy or delete operation, or if a failure isn't retryable,
cp command skips that object and moves on. If any failures were not
successfully retried by the end of the copy run, the
cp command reports the
number of failures and exits with a non-zero status.
For details about gsutil's overall retry handling, see Retry strategy.
gsutil automatically resumes interrupted downloads and interrupted resumable
except when performing streaming transfers. In the case of an interrupted
download, a partially downloaded temporary file is visible in the destination
directory with the suffix
_.gstmp in its name. Upon completion, the
original file is deleted and replaced with the downloaded contents.
Resumable transfers store state information in files under ~/.gsutil, named by the destination object or file.
See gsutil help prod for details on using resumable transfers in production.
Use '-' in place of src_url or dst_url to perform a streaming transfer.
Streaming uploads using the JSON API are buffered in memory part-way back into the file and can thus sometimes resume in the event of network or service problems.
gsutil does not support resuming streaming uploads using the XML API or resuming streaming downloads for either JSON or XML. If you have a large amount of data to transfer in these cases, we recommend that you write the data to a local file and copy that file rather than streaming it.
Sliced Object Downloads
gsutil can automatically use ranged
GET requests to perform downloads in
parallel for large files being downloaded from Cloud Storage. See sliced object
for a complete discussion.
Parallel Composite Uploads
gsutil can automatically use object composition to perform uploads in parallel for large, local files being uploaded to Cloud Storage. See the parallel composite uploads documentation for a complete discussion.
Changing Temp Directories
gsutil writes data to a temporary directory in several cases:
when compressing data to be uploaded (see the
when decompressing data being downloaded (for example, when the data has
Content-Encoding:gzipas a result of being uploaded using gsutil cp -z or gsutil cp -Z)
when running integration tests using the gsutil test command
In these cases, it's possible the temporary file location on your system that
gsutil selects by default may not have enough space. If gsutil runs out of
space during one of these operations (for example, raising
"CommandException: Inadequate temp space available to compress <your file>"
gsutil cp -z operation), you can change where it writes these
temp files by setting the TMPDIR environment variable. On Linux and macOS,
you can set the variable as follows:
TMPDIR=/some/directory gsutil cp ...
You can also add this line to your ~/.bashrc file and restart the shell before running gsutil:
On Windows 7, you can change the TMPDIR environment variable from Start -> Computer -> System -> Advanced System Settings -> Environment Variables. You need to reboot after making this change for it to take effect. Rebooting is not necessary after running the export command on Linux and macOS.
Synchronizing Over Os-Specific File Types (Such As Symlinks And Devices)
Please see the section about OS-specific file types in gsutil help rsync.
While that section refers to the
rsync command, analogous
points apply to the
- -a canned_acl
Applies the specific
canned_aclto uploaded objects. See "gsutil help acls" for further details.
Copy all source versions from a source bucket or folder. If not set, only the live version of each source object is copied.
If an error occurs, continue attempting to copy the remaining files. If any copies are unsuccessful, gsutil's exit status is non-zero, even if this flag is set. This option is implicitly set when running
gsutil -m cp....
Copy in "daisy chain" mode, which means copying between two buckets by first downloading to the machine where gsutil is run, then uploading to the destination bucket. The default mode is a "copy in the cloud," where data is copied between two buckets without uploading or downloading.
During a "copy in the cloud," a source composite object remains composite at its destination. However, you can use "daisy chain" mode to change a composite object into a non-composite object. For example:
gsutil cp -D gs://bucket/obj gs://bucket/obj_tmp gsutil mv gs://bucket/obj_tmp gs://bucket/obj
Exclude symlinks. When specified, symbolic links are not copied.
stdinto specify a list of files or objects to copy. You can use gsutil in a pipeline to upload or download objects as generated by a program. For example:
cat filelist | gsutil -m cp -I gs://my-bucket
where the output of
cat filelistis a one-per-line list of files, cloud URLs, and wildcards of files and cloud URLs.
- -j <ext,...>
Applies gzip transport encoding to any file upload whose extension matches the
-jextension list. This is useful when uploading files with compressible content such as .js, .css, or .html files. This also saves network bandwidth while leaving the data uncompressed in Cloud Storage.
When you specify the
-joption, files being uploaded are compressed in-memory and on-the-wire only. Both the local files and Cloud Storage objects remain uncompressed. The uploaded objects retain the
Content-Typeand name of the original files.
Note that if you want to use the
-mtop-level option to parallelize copies along with the
-j/-Joptions, your performance may be bottlenecked by the "max_upload_compression_buffer_size" boto config option, which is set to 2 GiB by default. You can change this compression buffer size to a higher limit. For example:
gsutil -o "GSUtil:max_upload_compression_buffer_size=8G" \ -m cp -j html,txt -r /local/source/dir gs://bucket/path
Applies gzip transport encoding to file uploads. This option works like the
-joption described above, but it applies to all uploaded files, regardless of extension.
- -L <file>
Outputs a manifest log file with detailed information about each item that was copied. This manifest contains the following information for each item:
Transfer start time and date in UTC and ISO 8601 format.
Transfer completion time and date in UTC and ISO 8601 format.
Upload id, if a resumable upload was performed.
Final result of the attempted transfer, either success or failure.
Failure details, if any.
If the log file already exists, gsutil uses the file as an input to the copy process, and appends log items to the existing file. Objects that are marked in the existing log file as having been successfully copied or skipped are ignored. Objects without entries are copied and ones previously marked as unsuccessful are retried. This option can be used in conjunction with the
-coption to build a script that copies a large number of objects reliably, using a bash script like the following:
until gsutil cp -c -L cp.log -r ./dir gs://bucket; do sleep 1 done
The -c option enables copying to continue after failures occur, and the -L option allows gsutil to pick up where it left off without duplicating work. The loop continues running as long as gsutil exits with a non-zero status. A non-zero status indicates there was at least one failure during the copy operation.
No-clobber. When specified, existing files or objects at the destination are not replaced. Any items that are skipped by this option are reported as skipped. gsutil performs an additional GET request to check if an item exists before attempting to upload the data. This saves gsutil from retransmitting data, but the additional HTTP requests may make small object transfers slower and more expensive.
Preserves ACLs when copying in the cloud. Note that this option has performance and cost implications only when using the XML API, as the XML API requires separate HTTP calls for interacting with ACLs. You can mitigate this performance issue using
gsutil -m cpto perform parallel copying. Note that this option only works if you have OWNER access to all objects that are copied. If you want all objects in the destination bucket to end up with the same ACL, you can avoid these performance issues by setting a default object ACL on that bucket instead of using
cp -p. See gsutil help defacl.
Note that it's not valid to specify both the
Enables POSIX attributes to be preserved when objects are copied.
gsutil cpcopies fields provided by
stat. These fields are the user ID of the owner, the group ID of the owning group, the mode or permissions of the file, and the access and modification time of the file. For downloads, these attributes are only set if the source objects were uploaded with this flag enabled.
On Windows, this flag only sets and restores access time and modification time. This is because Windows doesn't support POSIX uid/gid/mode.
- -R, -r
-roptions are synonymous. They enable directories, buckets, and bucket subdirectories to be copied recursively. If you don't use this option for an upload, gsutil copies objects it finds and skips directories. Similarly, if you don't specify this option for a download, gsutil copies objects at the current bucket directory level and skips subdirectories.
- -s <class>
Specifies the storage class of the destination object. If not specified, the default storage class of the destination bucket is used. This option is not valid for copying to non-cloud destinations.
Skips objects with unsupported object types instead of failing. Unsupported object types include Amazon S3 objects in the GLACIER storage class.
Prints the version-specific URL for each uploaded object. You can use these URLs to safely make concurrent upload requests, because Cloud Storage refuses to perform an update if the current object version doesn't match the version-specific URL. See generation numbers for more details.
- -z <ext,...>
Applies gzip content-encoding to any file upload whose extension matches the
-zextension list. This is useful when uploading files with compressible content such as .js, .css, or .html files, because it reduces network bandwidth and storage sizes. This can both improve performance and reduce costs.
When you specify the
-zoption, the data from your files is compressed before it is uploaded, but your actual files are left uncompressed on the local disk. The uploaded objects retain the
Content-Typeand name of the original files, but have their
Content-Encodingmetadata set to
gzipto indicate that the object data stored are compressed on the Cloud Storage servers and have their
Cache-Controlmetadata set to
For example, the following command:
gsutil cp -z html \ cattypes.html tabby.jpeg gs://mycats
does the following:
cpcommand uploads the files
tabby.jpegto the bucket
Based on the file extensions, gsutil sets the
-zoption compresses the data in the file
-zoption also sets the
-z/-Zoptions compress data prior to upload, they are not subject to the same compression buffer bottleneck that can affect the
Note that if you download an object with
Content-Encoding:gzip, gsutil decompresses the content before writing the local file.
Applies gzip content-encoding to file uploads. This option works like the
-zoption described above, but it applies to all uploaded files, regardless of extension.
If the STET binary can be found in boto or PATH, cp will use the split-trust encryption tool for end-to-end encryption.