Goffi's cp, a fancy file copier
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gcp is a user-friendly file copier written in Python. Its name used to stand for "Goffi's CoPier", but was changed into a recursive acronym: Gcp CoPier.


gcp is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

gcp is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with gcp. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


gcp is a file copier, loosely inspired from cp, but with high level functionalities such as:

  • Progress bar.
  • gcp keeps copying even when there is an issue: it just skips the file, logs an error and goes on.
  • Logging: gcp writes what it's doing to a log file; this allows you to know which files were effectively copied.
  • Fixing file names to be compatible with the target filesystem (e.g. removing incompatible chars like ? or * on FAT).
  • Queue: if you launch a copy when another copy is already running, the files are added to the first queue; this optimizes hard drive head movement and filesystem fragmentation.
  • Files saving: you can keep track of the files you have copied, and copy them again later (useful when, for example, you copy some free music to your friends on a regular basis).
  • gcp will be approximately option-compatible with (GNU) cp (approximately because the behaviour is not exactly the same, see below).

WARNING: gcp is at a relatively early stage of development, use at your own risks!


The Python way

First, install the following packages on your system (these Debian packages names, they may be different on other distros/systems):

  • libdbus-1-dev
  • libdbus-glib-1-dev
  • libgirepository1.0-dev
  • libcairo2-dev
  • python3-cairo-dev

Then install gcp with pip: pip3 install gcp

On Debian-based systems

apt install gcp

How to use it?

Pretty much like cp (see gcp --help and man gcp).

Please note that the behaviour is not exactly the same as cp's, even if gcp aims to be option-compatible. Mainly, the destination filenames can be modified (cf. the --fix-filenames option).

gcp doesn't implement all the options GNU cp has yet, but it's a long-term goal.


The log file is aimed to be used by gcp itself, buts remains human-readable. It is located in ~/.gcp/journal.

3 states are used:

  • OK means the file was copied and all operation were successful.
  • PARTIAL means the file was copied, but something went wrong (file permissions could not be preserved, file name had to be changed, etc.).
  • FAILED: the file was not copied.

After the state, a list of things that went wrong is shown, separated by ", ".

Contribution ideas

Here are some ideas for future developments:

  • handle XDG
  • copy queue management (moving copy order)
  • advanced console interface
  • notification (XMPP and maybe email) when a long copy is finished
  • retry for files that were not correctly copied
  • badly encoded unicode filenames fix
  • file copy integrity check

And in an even more distant future:

  • graphic interface
  • desktop (Kde, Gnome, XFCE...) integration
  • distant copy (FTP)
  • basic server mode, for copying files on network without the need of NFS or other heavy stuff


A big big thanks to the authors/contributors of...

  • progressbar: gcp uses ProgressBar, a class coded by Nilton Volpato that allows the textual representation of progression.

  • GLib: This heavily used library is used here for the main loop, event catching, and for DBus. Get it at https://developer.gnome.org/glib/.

  • DBus: This excellent IPC is ut the heart of gcp. Get more information at https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/dbus/.

  • Python and its amazing standard library: gcp was coded quickly for my own needs thanks to this excellent and efficient language and its really huge standard library. Python can be download at https://www.python.org/.

If I forgot any credit, please contact me (email below) to fix that.

Big thanks to contributors and package maintainers.


  • Original author: Jérôme Poisson a.k.a. Goffi goffi@goffi.org 2010-2011.
  • Thomas Preud'homme robotux@celest.fr 2011: manpage, stat resolution fix.
  • Jingbei Li a.k.a. petronny 2016: conversion to Python3.
  • Matteo Cypriani mcy@lm7.fr 2018: --fix-filenames option, Python3 fixes.


Feedback, bug reports, patches, etc. are welcome, either by email or on the repository's issue tracker https://code.lm7.fr/mcy/gcp/issues.

You can also have a look at Goffi's other main project, Salut à Toi (SàT), a Jabber/XMPP-based multi-frontend, multipurpose communication tool.

Don't hesitate to give feedback :)