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Using Bash

So let's say I have a bunch of files randomly placed in a parent directory ~/src, I want to grab all the files matching a certain suffix and move (or copy) them to a ~/dist directory.

Let's assume for this purpose that all filenames have this naming convention:


I found out that this was a quick way to get all files with a particular filename_suffix and put them in a dist folder:

mkdir ~/dst
find source -name "*.xxx" -exec mv -i {} -t ~/dst \;

Now a step further... how can I use the output of find, in this case filename, and use the filename_prefix to generate a directory of the same name in ~/dist and then move (or copy) all the files with that prefix into the appropriate directory?

mkdir ~/dst
find source -name "*.xrt,*.ini,*.moo" -exec mv -i {} -t ~/dst \;

Essentially, how do I change the above command (or maybe use another command), to create a structure like this



from a directory tree like this?


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up vote 9 down vote accepted

It would be a hell to tell find what to do in this case.

Better use the shell:

for i in **/*.{xrt,ini,moo}; do
  FILE=$(basename "$i")
  echo mkdir -p -- "$DIR"
  echo mv -i -t "$DIR" -- "$i"

Use shopt -s globstar to make the ** glob work (or use zsh!). And remove the echos later if the command prints what you want.

share|improve this answer
using bash is this the same? – qodeninja Feb 6 '12 at 20:44
@codeninja shopt -s globstar, see my edit. If there are only two levels, you can use */*.* and the snippet will work in any shell. – Gilles Feb 7 '12 at 0:40

cheating find command line:

find source -name "*.xrt,*.ini,*.moo" -exec env file={} bash -c 'base="$(basename "$file")";dir="dst/${base%.*}";mkdir -p "$dir";cp "$file" "$dir"' \;

actually a work around for calling bash script in find LOL.


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Guess what happens if there is a file which is called… happy rm -rf / ! This kind of code deserves a -1. – Stéphane Gimenez Feb 7 '12 at 13:04
Your edit is not enough: let's say you cliked on a link and downloaded Yay" rm -rf / "Rox0r.avi, again there is like a problem… – Stéphane Gimenez Feb 7 '12 at 13:22
(And there is no way to make this kind of substitution safe). – Stéphane Gimenez Feb 7 '12 at 13:24
Ah maybe it's possible to do this differently. It seems that the following works: -exec bash -c 'command which uses "$1"' bash '{}' ';'. Well, it's quite pointless anyway. – Stéphane Gimenez Feb 7 '12 at 13:26
@StéphaneGimenez done, bash is not the only thing to use. LOL – yuyichao Feb 7 '12 at 13:30

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