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install command in Linux with examples

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install command is used to copy files and set attributes. It is used to copy files to a destination of the user’s choice, If the user want to download and install a ready to use package on GNU/Linux system then he should use apt-get, apt, yum, etc depending on their distribution.


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

Here, the first three forms are used to copy the SOURCE to DEST or multiple SOURCE(s) to the existing DIRECTORY while setting permission modes and owner/group. But the fourth form is used to create all components of the given DIRECTORY.


  • –backup[=CONTROL] : This option is used to create a backup of each existing destination file.
  • -b : Like –backup but It will not accept an argument.
  • -C, –compare : Used to compare each pair of source and destination files. But in some cases it does not modify the destination.
  • -d, –directory : It will act as directory names towards all arguments. And create all components of the specified directories.
  • -g, –group=GROUP : Used to set group ownership, instead of processing the current group.
  • -m, –mode=MODE : Set permission mode (as in chmod).
  • -o, –owner=OWNER : Set ownership (super-user only).
  • -p, –preserve-timestamps : Apply access/modification times of SOURCE files to corresponding destination files
  • -t, –target-directory=DIRECTORY : Copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY.
  • -T, –no-target-directory : Treat DEST as a normal file.
  • -v, –verbose : Used to show the name of each directory as it is created.
  • –help : Display the help message and exit.
  • –version : Shows the version information and exit.


  • Copies two files rocket.c and rocket to directory demo.

  • Compare and copies files(observe the difference).

  • Using -T option(observe that it makes a file instead of directory).

  • Changing owner and permissions.

  • Printing version information.

Last Updated : 22 May, 2019
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