Fix Python – Copy file or directories recursively in Python

Question

Asked By – pafcu

Python seems to have functions for copying files (e.g. shutil.copy) and functions for copying directories (e.g. shutil.copytree) but I haven’t found any function that handles both. Sure, it’s trivial to check whether you want to copy a file or a directory, but it seems like a strange omission.

Is there really no standard function that works like the unix cp -r command, i.e. supports both directories and files and copies recursively? What would be the most elegant way to work around this problem in Python?

Now we will see solution for issue: Copy file or directories recursively in Python


Answer

I suggest you first call shutil.copytree, and if an exception is thrown, then retry with shutil.copy.

import shutil, errno

def copyanything(src, dst):
    try:
        shutil.copytree(src, dst)
    except OSError as exc: # python >2.5
        if exc.errno in (errno.ENOTDIR, errno.EINVAL):
            shutil.copy(src, dst)
        else: raise

This question is answered By – tzot

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