Mark Meuer Mark Meuer - 11 months ago 52
PowerShell Question

What is the meaning of Powershell's Copy-Item's -container argument?

I am writing a script for MS PowerShell. This script uses the Copy-Item command. One of the optional arguments to this command is "-container". The documentation for the argument states that specifying this argument "Preserves container objects during the copy operation."

This is all well and good, for I would be the last person to want unpreserved container objects during a copy operation. But in all seriousness, what does this argument do? Particularly in the case where I am copying a disk directory tree from one place to another, what difference does this make to the behavior of the Copy-Item command?

Answer Source

The container the documentation is talking about is the folder structure. If you are doing a recursive copy and want to preserve the folder structure, you would use the -container switch. (Note: by default the -container switch is set to true, so you really would not need to specify it. If you wanted to turn it off you could use -container: $false.)

There is a catch to this... if you do a directory listing and pipe it to Copy-Item, it will not preserve the folder structure. If you want to preserve the folder structure, you have to specify the -path property and the -recurse switch.