Goffi's cp, a fancy file copier
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gcp (Goffi’s cp) is a file 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 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!

How to use it?

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

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 --fs-fix option).

gcp doesn’t implement all the options from cp 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 aka Goffi goffi@goffi.org 2010-2011.
  • Thomas Preud’homme robotux@celest.fr 2011: manpage, stat resolution fix.
  • Jingbei Li aka petronny 2016: conversion to Python3.
  • Matteo Cypriani mcy@lm7.fr 2018: --fs-fix 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 :)