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I'm searching for an simple shell script to mv all folders in /var/www/uploads/ that containing Math or Physics in the name to /mnt/Backup/.

I've never done something like that before, due to the fact I am new to shell scripting. Searched across the web and unfortunately I only found scripts for moving specific files. Is there anyone who may help?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to this SO Post: use xargs to mv the “find” directory into another directory
i would use something like :

 find /var/www/uploads/ -type d  \( -name '*Physics*' -o -name '*Math*' \) \
    -exec mv -t /mnt/Backup/ {} +

This will find any directory at any depth in your /var/www/uploads folder and move it to the backup dir.
If you want to limit the search to the first level you can add to find the option -maxdepth 1

find /var/www/uploads/ -maxdepth 1 -type d  \( -name '*Physics*' -o -name '*Math*' \) \  
-exec mv -t /mnt/Backup/ {} +

And if you want to have a case insensitive search you can use the argument -iname instead of -name so it looks like :

 find /var/www/uploads/ -type d  \( -iname '*Physics*' -o -iname '*Math*' \) \
   -exec mv -t /mnt/Backup/ {} +

this will only work with recent versions of GNU or FreeBSD find and mv (-iname, -maxdepth and -t are not standard).

I also use \ to add jumpline in the command line and make it more readable.

Note 2:

If you want have a nice understanding of the command you can try this ExplainShell link

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@stephaneChazelas why the edit if it's what I want to write ? –  Kiwy Feb 20 '14 at 11:03
Yours didn't work as you forgot the -print0. Rather than adding the non-standard -print0, I prefered to fix it by using the standard syntax instead. –  Stéphane Chazelas Feb 20 '14 at 11:04
@StephaneChazelas fair enought thanks. –  Kiwy Feb 20 '14 at 11:05
Works very well. Thank you for sharing this! :) –  SaulGoodman Feb 20 '14 at 12:20

I'd use the unix command find, with the option -d to search for directories only, and tell it to execute the command to move the directory to /mnt/Backup. Instead of using a regexp to do it in one step, I'd simply run the command twice, like this:

find /var/www/uploads -type d -name "*Math*" -exec mv {} /mnt/Backup/ \;
find /var/www/uploads -type d -name "*Physics*" -exec mv {} /mnt/Backup/ \;

If you want to do the same thing for a large number of directory names, so that you don't want to have to repeat names, you can use a variable instead:

for name in Math Physics; do find /var/www/uploads -d -name "*${name}*" -exec mv {} /mnt/Backup/ \;
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#! /bin/bash
shopt -s extglob
# replace echo with mv when output OK
echo /var/www/uploads/*@(Math|Physics)* /mnt/Backup/
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could you explain what it does –  Kiwy Feb 20 '14 at 10:31
@Kiwy It does exactly what the OP wants, doesn't it? And that's more or less the best description of what is happening. You may search in man bash for "pattern-list". –  Hauke Laging Feb 20 '14 at 10:45
I was more curious about the shopt -s extglob option –  Kiwy Feb 20 '14 at 10:46
@Kiwy I guess extglob is disabled by default. But (as you would have found at exactly that place in the man page) it is needed to make the @() work (which is called extended globbing). –  Hauke Laging Feb 20 '14 at 10:49
Yes sorry, wrong edit. Might be better with echo mv ... and then remove the echo though. –  Stéphane Chazelas Feb 20 '14 at 11:28

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