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I have a list of relative paths such as this:


In the example above, the specifier dir2/file1 (for example) is redundant, because the dir2 entry would include this file.

Want I want to do, essentially, is remove redundant paths from a given list of paths. The above example would output the following:


Note that the files and directories specified need not actually exist on the filesystem.

I am willing to use any common Unix command (sed, awk, perl, etc.).

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If they do not exist on the filesystem, how can you tell the difference between a file and a directory? i.e. how to include dir2/dir3 but not dir2/file1. (Assuming you have not adopted a such a prefix notation for naming every file and directory...) – mr.spuratic Mar 6 '13 at 11:59
@mr.spuratic It doesn't matter at all... For my purposes, the paths may just as well be named x/y and x/z and it would not affect the result – Joshua Spence Mar 6 '13 at 13:02

2 Answers 2

Let's say the list of relative paths is in file name "path".

You can use the below awk script to print get the desired output:

 $ awk 'BEGIN{FS="/";} {arr[$1]=$0;count[$1]+=1;} END{for(i in arr){if(count[i]==1){print arr[i]}else{print i}}}' path

Hope you understand how it works.

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Really close. I should've mentioned that it needs to work recursively as well. I will update my example. – Joshua Spence Mar 6 '13 at 5:59
Also, your solution prints out dir3, which it should not – Joshua Spence Mar 6 '13 at 6:01
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Ok, I'm going to answer my own question.

I made my own awk script based on @pradeepchhetri's solution.

cat data.txt | sort | awk '
        if($0 in paths){next;}
END{for(path in paths){print path;}}' | sort

Which works for my purposes.

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