[Python-checkins] bpo-34260, shutil: fix copy2 and copystat documentation (GH-8523)

Victor Stinner webhook-mailer at python.org
Tue Oct 23 06:09:53 EDT 2018

commit: 4f399be0e70d8b5516b6213568b7665765bb3114
branch: master
author: Zsolt Cserna <cserna.zsolt at gmail.com>
committer: Victor Stinner <vstinner at redhat.com>
date: 2018-10-23T12:09:50+02:00

bpo-34260, shutil: fix copy2 and copystat documentation (GH-8523)

Fix the documentation of copy2, as it does not copy file ownership (user and
group), only mode, mtime, atime and flags.

The original text was confusing to developers as it suggested that this
command is the same as 'cp -p', but according to cp(1), '-p' copies file
ownership as well.

Clarify which metadata is copied by shutil.copystat in its docstring.

M Doc/library/shutil.rst
M Lib/shutil.py

diff --git a/Doc/library/shutil.rst b/Doc/library/shutil.rst
index 6b4ce14b5da1..7a596eeff682 100644
--- a/Doc/library/shutil.rst
+++ b/Doc/library/shutil.rst
@@ -177,7 +177,7 @@ Directory and files operations
 .. function:: copy2(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True)
    Identical to :func:`~shutil.copy` except that :func:`copy2`
-   also attempts to preserve all file metadata.
+   also attempts to preserve file metadata.
    When *follow_symlinks* is false, and *src* is a symbolic
    link, :func:`copy2` attempts to copy all metadata from the
diff --git a/Lib/shutil.py b/Lib/shutil.py
index a4aa0dfdd10b..40dd070ed11f 100644
--- a/Lib/shutil.py
+++ b/Lib/shutil.py
@@ -312,11 +312,15 @@ def _copyxattr(*args, **kwargs):
 def copystat(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True):
-    """Copy all stat info (mode bits, atime, mtime, flags) from src to dst.
+    """Copy file metadata
-    If the optional flag `follow_symlinks` is not set, symlinks aren't followed if and
-    only if both `src` and `dst` are symlinks.
+    Copy the permission bits, last access time, last modification time, and
+    flags from `src` to `dst`. On Linux, copystat() also copies the "extended
+    attributes" where possible. The file contents, owner, and group are
+    unaffected. `src` and `dst` are path names given as strings.
+    If the optional flag `follow_symlinks` is not set, symlinks aren't
+    followed if and only if both `src` and `dst` are symlinks.
     def _nop(*args, ns=None, follow_symlinks=None):
@@ -384,8 +388,10 @@ def copy(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True):
     return dst
 def copy2(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True):
-    """Copy data and all stat info ("cp -p src dst"). Return the file's
-    destination.
+    """Copy data and metadata. Return the file's destination.
+    Metadata is copied with copystat(). Please see the copystat function
+    for more information.
     The destination may be a directory.

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