Copy files in from, or out to, an archive that can be on a storage medium such as tape or a file on the disk.


cpio [-icdv] pattern cpio [-ocBv] pattern cpio [-padm] pattern


-i extracts files whose names match the pattern.

-o copies files to archive files whose names are provided on standard input.

-p copies files to another directory on the same system.

-a resets access times of input files.

-B copies files using 5,120 bytes per record (the default is 512 bytes per record).

-c reads or writes header information as ASCII characters.

-d creates directories as needed.

-m retains the previous file-modification time.

-v prints a list of filenames.


The cpio command copies files in from, and out to, archives. There are three distinct variants of the cpio command: cpio -o creates an archive, cpio -i extracts from an archive, and cpio -p copies from one directory to another. cpio is not that popular among Linux users; tar is much more commonly used. However, some installation programs use cpio during the installation process.