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E2CP(1) User commands E2CP(1)


e2cp - copies files from/to an e2fs filesystem


e2cp [options] files... dest


The e2cp command copies files to/from an e2fs filesystem from/to the machine's filesystem.


A single `-' (dash) can be used instead of a file name to indicate standard input/output.

Input lines terminated by a null character.
Absolute directory names - create directories instead of just copying into the destination. Only valid for copying into an ext2fs filesystem.
Destination of files to be copied. May be in the ext2fs filesystem or the host filesystem.
Set the default group to gid.
Set the default file owner to uid.
Preserve host file attributes (permissions, times, etc.) when copying files.
Set the file permissions (ie 755, 666).
The source of the files to be copied.
Be verbose.


Copy a file and use the default permission and ownership of the current user:

e2cp README.txt /tmp/boot.img:/tmp

Do the same thing, but keep permissions & ownership:

e2cp -p README.txt /tmp/boot.img:/tmp

Dump a file to standard out:

e2cp /tmp/boot.img:/tmp/README.txt - | wc

Get a file from standard input and put it on an unmounted partition:

tar cf - /data/logs|gzip| e2cp - /dev/hdb1:/backup/logs.tar.gz

Copy the files from one directory and put them under another directory on an unmounted partition, keeping the original paths, permissions & ownership:

find /data -type f |tee filelist | e2cp -apv -d /dev/hdb1:/mirror

Copy files from a directory on an unmounted partition to a local directory (Note: this does not recreate the directories in the local filesystem, yet). The list of files are read from standard input:

e2cp -pv -s /dev/hdb1:/mirror -d /data2 < filelist

Copy a file to a file system and make the group and ownership root

e2cp -G 0 -O 0 myfile /tmp/boot.img/boot/rootfile


e2tools(7), e2ln(1), e2ls(1), e2mkdir(1), e2mv(1), e2rm(1), e2tail(1).


The e2tools were written by Keith Sheffield <>.

This manual page was written by Lucas Wall <>, for the Debian project (but may be used by others).

2020-02-05 Linux