A file system structure in which to store computer files.

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5answers
6k views

How can I copy a file and create the target directories at the same time?

I want to cp aaa/deep/sea/blob.psd to bbb/deep/sea/blob.psd How do I do the copy if the deep and sea directories don't exist under bbb so that the copy both creates the directories that are needed ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How does one atomically change a symlink to a directory in busybox?

I am trying to (as close as possibly) atomically change a symlink. I've tried: ln -sf other_dir existing_symlink That just put the new symlink in the directory that existing_symlink pointed to. ln ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Recursively iterate through files in a directory

Recursively iterating through files in a directory can easily be done by: find . -type f -exec bar {} \; However, the above does not work for more complex things, where a lot of conditional ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Simplest way to password protect a directory and its contents without having to create new files?

I would like to password protect or encrypt a directory and all the files within it (for the whole directory tree below it). I do not want to bother the whole home directory, I want a specific ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How to find all the links to a directory

When I stat a directory I get a listing that tell me there are 5 links to the directory. stat dir My question is how do I get information (names and locations) to all these 5 links?
11
votes
4answers
7k views

symbolic link to a directory and relative path

I've created symlink with absolute path to the directory (Blink) and have for example following tree: $ ls -l /tmp/A total 0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 6 Apr 3 12:27 Blink -> /tmp/B -rw-r--r-- 1 root ...
11
votes
4answers
42k views

How can I list subdirectories recursively?

The obvious ls -dR does not work. I am currently using find /path/ -type d -ls but the output is not what I need (plain listing of sub-folders) Is there a way out?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I choose specific files in a different directory using bash?

I want to list (or delete, or do some other operation) on certain files in a directory, like this: $ ls /opt/somedir/ aa bb cc aa.txt bb.txt cc.txt $ ls /opt/somedir/(aa|bb|cc) ## pseudo-bash ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are some files and folders hidden?

I can understand the rationale of hiding files and folders in the /home/user directory to prevent users from messing around with things. However, I do not see how the same rationale can be applied to ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 'ls' and 'ls -l' when I don't have execute permission on that directory?

I created a directory called folder and took away execute permission. $ mkdir folder $ touch folder/innerFile $ mkdir folder/innerFolder $ chmod -x folder Now if I do $ ls folder it outputs a ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I move files by type recursively from a directory and its sub-directories to another directory?

What would be a good way to move a file type from a directory and all of its sub-directories? Like "move all *.ogg in /thisdir recursively to /somedir". I tried a couple of things; my best effort was ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I include a trailing slash / in a symlink to a directory?

Symlinking to a directory gives to different results with ls -l depending on whether I ln -s dir or ln -s dir/. But what's the actual difference, and which one should I prefer why?
11
votes
1answer
212 views

How to log all the events performed on directory?

How can I log all the events performed on a particular directory? I want to log the entry of each directory modified within some time duration. I am using find . -type d -mmin -5 command. In ...
10
votes
7answers
7k views

How to check if $PWD is a subdirectory of a given path

E.g. check if $PWD is a subdirectory of /home. In other words I'm searching for a bash string operation to check if one string starts with another.
10
votes
3answers
17k views

How do I remove all sub-directories from within a directory?

This question is kind of a phase II to the first question I posted at here I have a directory that contains a bunch of sub-directories, .zip files, and other random files not contained within a ...
10
votes
5answers
31k views

Using sftp to Transfer a Directory?

When I try to use sftp to transfer a directory containing files, I get an error message: skipping non-regular file directory_name The directory contains a couple of files and two subdirectories. ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Stay at same working directory when changing to sudo

When working on the command line, I often change to sudo using sudo -i. However, my working directory changes automatically to /root. I never want to go there; I want to stay where I was! How can I ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Lowercasing all directories under a directory

I want to lowercase every directories' name under a directory. With which commands can I do that?
9
votes
5answers
11k views

Creating numerous directories using mkdir

I would like to create many directories using mkdir. Each directory name will consist of a prefix (a string) and an index (an integer). Suppose that I would like the prefix to be "s" and the indices ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

what is wild card to select all directories in a directory

i want to set sticky bit for all directories in a directory excluding files. is there any wild card to do this? #sudo chmod g+s /var/www/<WILD_CARD_FOR_ALL_DIRECTORIES>
9
votes
4answers
5k views

How are directories implemented in Unix filesystems?

My question is how directories are implemented? I can believe a data structure like a variable e.g. table, array or similar. Since UNIX is Open Source I can look in the source what the program does ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

pv for directory copy

I need to copy a very large directory (talking in terabytes here) and want to monitor the progress. I found that pv is a nice utility, but how can I use it for copying directories recursively? (pv ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to run a command when a directory's contents are updated?

There is a directory A whose contents are changed frequently by other people. I have made a personal directory B where I keep all the files that have ever been in A. Currently I just occasionally ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Why can't I have a folder and a file with the same name?

I've never had this problem before, but for some reason, I can't rename my folder to packages/. This is the structure: root - packages_old/ - packages When I try to rename the folder with ...
9
votes
2answers
377 views

Is a directory removed when its number of hard links becomes 0?

Is a directory removed when its number of hard links becomes 0? A directory always has at least 2 as its number of hard links, because of .. When rm -r a directory, does it decrease the number of ...
9
votes
2answers
393 views

How to spoof/mock a directory used by a binary application as another directory?

Suppose there's a binary application that always writes its data to /tmp. How could I spoof/mock /tmp for the sake of this binary as some other directory (e.g. home/tmp)? Let's assume I have no ...
9
votes
4answers
747 views

How do you check if a file exists within awk? [-d 'filename'] failing

I'm trying to generate a list of users who have a home directory set which does not exist. It seems I should be able to do this with awk, but something is wrong with my syntax. It keeps telling me ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

find with -execdir

I run a find with -execdir both I don't get the results I was expecting. SSCCE below: mkdir -p a/b/c find . -type d -execdir touch foo \; $ tree a a ├── b │   ├── c │   └── foo └── foo Directory c ...
9
votes
1answer
587 views

What is the significance of the dot in bash commands and how is it different from an asterisk?

I'm trying to understand the significance of the dot in bash and how it differs from an asterisk. Can someone please elaborate? For example, what's the difference between cp -ar /foo/. /foo2/ and cp ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Bash CD up until in certain folder

I do a lot of work in Magento, and so do a lot of the people I work with, and it gets annoying to have to type: cd ../../../../../../ To only find you're still a few directories from your root ...
8
votes
3answers
31k views

How can I delete all files with a particular extension in a particular folder?

If I set the current/working directory (navigating to it using cd) to some particular directory and then type: rm *.xvg What will this command do? Is it true that the above command will only delete ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How to switch to the directory listing from file view in vim?

I have opened a dir vim some/dir. I can navigate within the tree, yet once I opened a file I wonder, how do I close the file view in order to go back to the directory listing to navigate to another ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Best way run a command on each file in a directory tree

There appear be a number of ways to do this including loops in shell script, find and xargs. Which of these is best, and which is most portable?
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Remove empty directory trees (removing as many directories as possible but no files)

Suppose I have a dir tree like this: ROOTDIR └--SUBDIR1 └----SUBDIR2 └----SUBDIR3 I am looking for a command such that when I input: $ [unknown command] ROOTDIR The whole ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a correct way to list the subdirectories of the current directory?

I can find the subdirectories of a directory by ls -d -- */ or ls -l | grep "^d" but both of these seem indirect, and I would imagine that there would be a standard way to find just the ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

set read and write permissions to folder and all its parent directories

I need to set read and write permissions for root user to directory subfolderN and all its parent folders till root. I can do it by hands: $ sudo chmod +rx /root/subfolder1/subfolder2/subfolderN $ ...
8
votes
3answers
674 views

What are ./ and ../ directories?

Simple question, but I'm not sure where to look and google doesn't respond to periods and slashes. I'm just trying to count the # of files & directories in the current directory (not including ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

rsync compare directories?

Is it possible to compare two directories with rsync and only print the differences? There's a dry-run option, but when I increase verbosity to a certain level, every file compared is shown. ls -alR ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I cd to the previous/next sibling directory?

I often have a project directory layout like this project `-- component-a | `-- files... `-- component-b | `-- files... `-- component-c `-- files... I'll usually be working in one of the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why could the size of the “dot” file “.” exceed 4096?

Today I found an "empty" directory with a size of 4MB. It had no visible contents, so I tried ls -lah. This showed me some hidden files (not very large). Searching for the reason why the directory ...
8
votes
2answers
935 views

the slash (/) after a directory name on shell commands

I have a little question here. If I have two files, say filea and fileb, mv filea fileb would delete fileb rename filea to fileb Then if I have two directories, say dira and dirb, mv dira dirb ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is this empty directory 3.5MB?

I've just read this question: What does size of a directory mean in output of 'ls -l' command? ...which doesn't quite answer my question. Basically, I'm moving files onto a NAS. The folders ...
8
votes
2answers
590 views

Boot into a chroot?

I have Linux (Debian Jessie) installed on a hard drive. Drive - sda1, ext4fs, and sda2 - swap I have a /chroot folder. There is installed another system, in /chroot folder. Question: How to tell ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Can rm recursively remove empty directories?

In an old version of Unix, the rm command would delete directories if they were empty. From the Research Unix Eighth Edition man page for rm: "If an entry is a directory it is removed only if empty." ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to remove folder prefix from a `ls` command

I am in a bash script and I want to get the list of all files (let say all jar files). I execute the command ls -1 lib/*.jar and I get the output: lib/mylib_1.jar lib/mylib_2.jar ... Is there any ...
7
votes
7answers
9k views

What's the best way to count the number of files in a directory?

If parsing the output of ls is dangerous because it can break on some funky characters (spaces, \n, ... ), what's the best way to know the number of files in a directory? I usualy rely on find to ...
7
votes
1answer
368 views

Expand ~, . and `..`

Since ~, . and .. are special directories, why are they handled differently in the following example? $ echo ~ /home/tim $ echo .. .. $ echo . . ~ is expanded into the dir, but the other two are ...
7
votes
3answers
439 views

“mkdir foo; svn mv * foo”

I often want to do some variant of this idiom: $ mkdir 2010 $ svn mv * 2010 Of course, I get an error because the glob matches 2010 as well: svn: Cannot copy path '2010' into its own child ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I change folder timestamps recursively to the newest file?

I was wondering if anyone knows how to change the timestamps of folders recursively based on the latest timestamp found of the files in that folder. So for example: ...
7
votes
2answers
132 views

Keeping history per working directory (cf. per shell session)

Is there a way to make a modern shell's history feature be scoped to a path? My working contexts are split up as paths on the file system, and the pattern of shell activity, such as repeatedly issued ...