copy files to external HDD

A.J. Bonnema gbonnema at
Mon Jan 12 11:18:45 UTC 2015

On 12-01-15 11:18, Thomas Blasejewicz wrote:
> Good evening
> I am trying to copy some of the folders in my "home directory" to an
> external HDD.

This should not be too difficult, provided you know where the hdd is 

> Though not with those incomprehensible terminal commands ...

Uhmmmm. They *are* comprehensible, you just need an open mind toward 
them. It may help to have someone in your environment who is experienced 
in this area. Otherwise, youtube often helps. The command you need is 
cp, but beware: it overwrites without warning. Also, for recursive dive 
into directories you need a parameter (probably -i). Check "man cp" 
before you do anything, and do a trial run on a dummy target directory 
before you do the "real thing".

If you want to use command line that is. Otherwise, start looking at 
either MC (Midnight Commander) or Krusader. I have always used MC but 
that is personal. Krusader is more GUI like so may suit you better. They 
are unline Nautilus or Dolphin, but work with two panels by default.

For both software packages TAB switches panels, F5 copies, F6 moves etc. 
All like the old Norton Commander (an old windows program that probably 
doesn't exist anymore). For Krusader use the manual to find how to 
select files. For MC just use the + or the - to select or deselect 
files. You can also select files individually. Copying a directory is 
probably the most efficient way.

This may help overcome your fear of the commandline. The other option is 
to study the man pages, buy a book on linux or check out youtube.

> I select the folders I want to back up (copy), choose the destination
> and then select "paste".
> However, only a very small portion of the folders / files are actually
> copied.
> And I get 10 million times the question, whether I want to overwrite or
> skip exisiting files

> IN SPITE OF marking the little checkbox "apply to all".

This should not happen, in any file manager. It sounds like a bug to me. 
However, you are not providing a lot of information. Without knowing 
what OS, what window manager, what file manager you are using, no one 
will be able to help you.

Kind regards, Guus.

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