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Copy a file or directory, dereferencing symlinks in the process, and preserving last-modified times and file modes.

Made for use by Broccoli and Broccoli plugins.


npm install --save copy-dereference


var copyDereferenceSync = require('copy-dereference').sync;
copyDereferenceSync('src_dir/some_file.txt', 'dest_dir/some_file.txt');
copyDereferenceSync('src_dir/some_dir', 'dest_dir/some_dir');


copyDereferenceSync(srcPath, destPath)

Copy the file or directory at srcPath to destPath.

If srcPath is a symlink, or if there is a symlink somewhere underneath the directory at srcPath, it will be dereferenced, that is, it will be replaced with the thing it points to.

File & directory last-modified times as well as file modes (permissions & executable bit) will be preserved.

We throw an exception if there are any broken symlinks at or beneath srcPath, if srcPath does not exist, of if destPath's parent directory does not exist.

Furthermore, we throw an exception if destPath already exists. Thus in contrast to Unix cp, the following will fail:

// dest_dir already exists, and we might expect dest_dir/some_dir to be 
// created. This does not work; pass 'dest_dir/some_dir' instead. 
copyDereferenceSync('src_dir/some_dir', 'dest_dir');

File types other than files, directories and symlinks (such as device files or sockets) are not supported and will cause an exception.


  • There intentionally isn't an asynchronous version. It's not clear that we need or want one. Before sending a patch to add an async version, please share your use case on the issue tracker.