Copy A File In Python

October - 2021

The basic way to copy a file in Python 3 is (though it does not do all metadata)

from shutil import copy2

source_path = 'some/source/path.txt'
dest_path = 'path/to/put/the/file.txt'

copy2(source_path, dest_path)
  • It will copy files and directories (need to test the last part)
  • It also copies file permissions.
  • Via:

Here's a nice table someone put together:

| Function    | Copies Metadata | Copies Permissions | Can Specify Buffer |
| copy        | No              | Yes                | No                 |
| copyfile    | No              | No                 | No                 |
| copy2       | Yes             | Yes                | No                 |
| copyfileobj | No              | No                 | Yes                |

Old Notes:

See this from here:

import errno
import os
import shutil

def safe_move(src, dst):
    """Rename a file from ``src`` to ``dst``.

    *   Moves must be atomic.  ``shutil.move()`` is not atomic.
        Note that multiple threads may try to write to the cache at once,
        so atomicity is required to ensure the serving on one thread doesn't
        pick up a partially saved image from another thread.

    *   Moves must work across filesystems.  Often temp directories and the
        cache directories live on different filesystems.  ``os.rename()`` can
        throw errors if run across filesystems.

    So we try ``os.rename()``, but if we detect a cross-filesystem copy, we
    switch to ``shutil.move()`` with some wrappers to make it atomic.
        os.rename(src, dst)
    except OSError as err:

        if err.errno == errno.EXDEV:
            # Generate a unique ID, and copy `<src>` to the target directory
            # with a temporary name `<dst>.<ID>.tmp`.  Because we're copying
            # across a filesystem boundary, this initial copy may not be
            # atomic.  We intersperse a random UUID so if different processes
            # are copying into `<dst>`, they don't overlap in their tmp copies.
            copy_id = uuid.uuid4()
            tmp_dst = "%s.%s.tmp" % (dst, copy_id)
            shutil.copyfile(src, tmp_dst)

            # Then do an atomic rename onto the new name, and clean up the
            # source image.
            os.rename(tmp_dst, dst)