install — copy files and set attributes


install [OPTION...] [−T] SOURCE DEST


install [OPTION...] −t DIRECTORY SOURCE...

install [OPTION...] −d DIRECTORY...


This install program copies files (often just compiled) into destination locations you choose. If you want to download and install a ready−to−use package on a GNU/Linux system, you should instead be using a package manager like yum(1) or apt-get(1).

In the first three forms, copy SOURCE to DEST or multiple SOURCE(s) to the existing DIRECTORY, while setting permission modes and owner/group. In the 4th form, create all components of the given DIRECTORY(ies).

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.


make a backup of each existing destination file


like −−backup but does not accept an argument



−C, −−compare

compare content of source and destination files, and if no change to content, ownership, and permissions, do not modify the destination at all

−d, −−directory

treat all arguments as directory names; create all components of the specified directories


create all leading components of DEST except the last, or all components of −−target−directory, then copy SOURCE to DEST

−g, −−group=GROUP/

set group ownership, instead of process' current group

−m, −−mode=MODE/

set permission mode (as in chmod), instead of rwxr−xr−x

−o, −−owner=OWNER/

set ownership (super−user only)

−p, −−preserve−timestamps

apply access/modification times of SOURCE files to corresponding destination files

−s, −−strip

strip symbol tables


program used to strip binaries

−S, −−suffix=SUFFIX/

override the usual backup suffix

−t, −−target−directory=DIRECTORY/

copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY

−T, −−no−target−directory

treat DEST as a normal file

−v, −−verbose

print the name of each directory as it is created


preserve SELinux security context


set SELinux security context of destination file and each created directory to default type


like −Z, or if CTX is specified then set the SELinux or SMACK security context to CTX


display this help and exit


output version information and exit

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with −−suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the −−backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:

none, off

never make backups (even if −−backup is given)

numbered, t

make numbered backups

existing, nil

numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise

simple, never

always make simple backups


Written by David MacKenzie.


GNU coreutils online help: <>

Report any translation bugs to <>


Full documentation <>

or available locally via: info '(coreutils) install invocation'


Copyright © 2022 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.