File name is a name used to identify a file uniquely on given file system.

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On what systems is //foo/bar different from /foo/bar?

Throughout the POSIX specification, there's provision (1, 2, 3...) to allow implementations to treat a path starting with two / specially. A POSIX application (an application written to the POSIX ...
71
votes
6answers
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How does Linux handle multiple consecutive path separators (/home////username///file)?

I'm working on a python script that passes file locations to an scp subprocess. That's all fine, but I'm in a situation where I may end up concatenating a path with a filename such that there's a ...
67
votes
10answers
83k views

Looping through files with spaces in the names?

I wrote the following script to diff the outputs of two directores with all the same files in them as such: #!/bin/bash for file in `find . -name "*.csv"` do echo "file = $file"; diff $...
42
votes
8answers
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List files sorted numerically

I have a bunch of files from log1 to log164. I'm trying to LIST the directory (sorted) in a UNIX terminal but the sort functions are only providing the format like this: home:logs Home$ ls -1 | sort ...
41
votes
2answers
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What does dash “-” at the end of a command mean?

Given the following command: gzip -dc /cdrom/cdrom0/file.tar.gz | tar xvf – What does the - at the end of the command mean? Is it some kind of placeholder?
40
votes
2answers
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Why do some Linux files have a 'd' suffix?

I am new to Linux. I observed some of the binary files and configuration file name s end with a d. What is reason for putting a d at the end of the file name? Like httpd, ospfd, pppd, syslogd, ...
40
votes
4answers
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unix, difference between path starting with '/' and '//'

In unix/linux, any number of consecutive forwardslashes in a path is generally equivalent to a single forwardslash. eg. $ cd /home/shum $ pwd /home/shum $ cd /home//shum $ pwd /home/shum $ cd /home///...
37
votes
10answers
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Unix file naming convention

I was wondering what is the naming convention for files in Unix? I am not sure about this, but I think there is perhaps a universal naming convention that one should follow? For example, I want to ...
37
votes
2answers
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Completing avfs fake directories in zsh

How can I tweak zsh's completion system to complete “fake” files in some circumstances? More precisely, the AVFS filesystem exposes archives as directories by creating a “fake directory” next to ...
35
votes
7answers
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Is `~/Documents` a relative or an absolute path?

This is merely just a vocabulary question, but which keeps turning around in my head. It comes from a practice exam from a LPIC preparation book. The correct answer according to the book is that ~/...
33
votes
5answers
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Converting relative path to absolute path

Is there a *nix command to get absolute(and canonicalized) path from relative path(with current path) or symbolic link?
32
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1answer
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Why can Linux show a file name containing character '/'?

The following picture is snapped in a real Linux environment. Why can Linux show a file name containing character '/'?
29
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3answers
21k views

What charset encoding is used for filenames and paths on Linux?

Does it depend on what file system I use? For example, ext2/ext3/ext4 but also what happens when I insert one of those "joliet" CD-ROMs with ISO 9660? I've heard that POSIX contains some sort of spec ...
28
votes
13answers
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How can I delete a file with no name

I somehow managed to create a file that doesn't seem to have a filename. I found some information regarding how to get more details of the file in the following thread. However, I tried some of the ...
28
votes
2answers
991 views

find(1): how is the star wildcard implemented for it to fail on some filenames?

In a file system where filenames are in UTF-8, I have a file with a faulty name; it is displayed as: D�sinstaller, actual name according to zsh: D$'\351'sinstaller, Latin1 for Désinstaller, itself a ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

Dealing with file names with special first characters (ex. ♫)

I have recently come across a file whose name begins with the character '♫'. I wanted to copy this file, feed it into ffmpeg, and reference it in various other ways in the terminal. I usually auto-...
25
votes
3answers
12k views

When should I use a trailing slash on a directory? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How linux handles multiple path separators (/home////username///file) Most commands I use in linux behave exactly the same whether I include the trailing slash / character ...
24
votes
5answers
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File extensions for unix shell scripts

On wikipedia, the article for .sh says: For the .sh file extension type, see Bourne shell. How about other unix shells? I know that the shebang is used inside the file to indicate an ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How to rename file to .. (dot dot)?

Apparently you can rename file to .... If I were insane, how would I rename file to .. or .? Is such a filename even allowed? Backslash doesn't seem to disable dot's special meaning: $ mv test \. ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

shellcheck is advising not to use basename: why?

I am trying out shellcheck. I have something like that basename "${OPENSSL}" and I get the following suggestion Use parameter expansion instead, such as ${var##*/}. From the practical point of ...
22
votes
8answers
1k views

Clipboard for copying and pasting files in command line?

In Bash, suppose I visit a directory, and then another directory. I would like to copy a file from the first directory to the second directory, but without specifying the long pathnames of them. Is it ...
22
votes
9answers
8k views

Find files whose name is 4 characters long [duplicate]

I would like to find files whose name has only 4 characters. Example, there are three files under /tmp: $ ls /tmp txt file linux Output should only show file because it only has 4 characters.
22
votes
7answers
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Bulk rename, change prefix

How can I bulk replace the prefix for many files? I have a lot of files like TestSRConnectionContext.h TestSRConnectionContext.m I would like to change all them to CLConnectionContext.h ...
22
votes
8answers
70k views

How to list files without directories, and filter by name (ls options)

I have a directory called uploads. It contains a bunch of files, plus a few subdirectories which in turn contain files. Is there a way I can (in one step) do the following: List ONLY the files in ...
21
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3answers
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Understanding Unix file name encoding

I have a hard time understanding how the file name encoding works. On unix.SE I find contradicting explanations. File names are stored as characters To quote another answer: Several questions about ...
21
votes
8answers
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Grabbing the extension in a file name

How do I get the file extension from bash? Here's what I tried: filename=`basename $filepath` fileext=${filename##*.} By doing that I can get extension of bz2 from the path /dir/subdir/file.bz2, ...
20
votes
4answers
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How can I delete a file named “>”?

I was running a Python script that malfunctioned and used sudo to create a file named >. How can I get rid of this file? Of course, when I try sudo rm >, I get the error bash: syntax error ...
20
votes
6answers
6k views

Portable way to get script's absolute path?

What is a portable way for a (zsh) script to determine its absolute path? On Linux I use something like mypath=$(readlink -f $0) ...but this is not portable. (E.g., readlink on darwin does not ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Tilde (~) inside working unix directory

So, Im working in a UNIX environment and I noticed that inside my working directory, which is miles miles away from my UNIX home, there is a ~. Now, once in the past, I did rm -rf ~ from my working ...
19
votes
2answers
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What is the difference between “du -sh *” and “du -sh ./*”?

The title says it all. What's the difference between those 2 commands? NOTE: I'm more interested in the * and ./* part.
19
votes
7answers
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Is it considered a best practice to not use capital letters in file naming?

People say you shouldn't use spaces in Unix file naming. Are there good reasons to not use capital letters in file names (i.e., File_Name.txt vs. file_name.txt)? Or is this just a matter of personal ...
19
votes
4answers
40k views

Is space not allowed in a filename?

It is said that on Unix and Linux in general, you should avoid having spaces in a filename of a file (ordinary file, dir, link, device file, ...). But I do that all the time. For a filename with a ...
19
votes
3answers
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Newlines in filenames

I understand and accept the premise that defensive1 shell scripting is both prudent and, in the longer term, more sustainable. Many of the answers to text processing questions here follow this ...
17
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2answers
949 views

Security implications of running perl -ne '…' *

Apparently, running: perl -n -e 'some perl code' * Or find . ... -exec perl -n -e '...' {} + (same with -p instead of -n) Or perl -e 'some code using <>' * often found in one-liners ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

bulk rename (or correctly display) files with special characters

I have a bunch of directories and subdirectories that contain files with special characters, like this file: robbie@phil:~$ ls test�sktest.txt test?sktest.txt Find reveals an escape sequence: ...
17
votes
6answers
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Is there a terminal app that allows filenames to be clickable?

Is there a terminal emulator (extension or app) that does link resolution for local paths? In particular when I see things like: /home/sam/.gem/ruby/1.8/gems/actionpack-2.3.2/lib/action_controller/...
15
votes
4answers
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What is the maximum allowed filename (and folder) size with eCryptfs?

I am a new eCryptfs user and I have a very basic question that I wasn't able to find anywhere. I am interested in using eCryptfs via my Synology NAS that uses Linux. While trying to encrypt my folder ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it correct to use certain special characters when naming filenames in Linux?

Is it correct to use certain special characters, as +, &, ', . (dot) and , (comma), basically, in filenames. I understand that you can use - and _ with no problem, but doing some research I have ...
14
votes
5answers
977 views

Make pwd result in terms of “~”?

pwd gives me /data/users/me/some/random/folder Is there an easy way of obtaining ~/some/random/folder from pwd?
13
votes
3answers
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Split a file by line and have control over resulting files extension

There is a standard command for file splitting - split. For example, if I want to split a words file in several chunks of 10000 lines, I can use: split -dl 10000 words wrd and it would generate ...
13
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
960 views

How to list all files in a directory with absolute paths

I need a file (preferably a .list file) which contains the absolute path of every file in a directory. Example dir1: file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt listOfFiles.list: /Users/haddad/dir1/file1....
12
votes
5answers
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How to get the last N files in a directory?

I have many files that are ordered by file name in a directory. I wish to copy the final N (say, N=4) files to my home directory. How should I do it? cp ./<the final 4 files> ~/
12
votes
2answers
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Shell filename pattern that expands to dot files but not to `..`?

Recently I had a little mishap caused by a shell pattern that expanded in an unexpected way. I wanted to change the owner of a bunch of dot files in the /root directory, so I did chown -R root .* ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What does *~ mean?

At the end of a makefile I saw rm -f *~ *.class I understand the *.class, but what's *~?
12
votes
4answers
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adding text to filename before extension

I would like to add text to the end of filename but before the extension. Right now I am trying, for f in *.shp; do echo $f_poly; done the output is, Quercus_acutifolia.shp_poly Quercus_agrifolia....
12
votes
1answer
4k views

For filenames, are underscores or dashes more common in Unix file names? [closed]

When you are naming files with multiple words in the name, is it more common in Unix systems to use underscores, camel case, or dashes to separate the words?
11
votes
7answers
4k views

Shortest way to extract last 3 characters of base (minus suffix) filename

I'm trying to set a variable in an sh script to the last 3 characters of the base name of a file (by base name I mean without the path and without the suffix). I've succeeded in doing this but, purely ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

identify files with non-ASCII or non-printable characters in file name

In a directory size 80GB with approx 700,000 files, there are some file names with non-English characters in the file name. Other than trawling through the file list laboriously is there: An easy ...
11
votes
2answers
12k views

What does the tilde (~) mean at the end of a filename? [duplicate]

What is the file with the ~ at the end of the filename for? $ ls # aliased to add flags -rwxrwxr-x 1 durrantm 2741 May 16 09:28 strip_out_rspec_prep_cmds.sh~* drwxrwxr-x 13 durrantm 4096 May 16 14:...