Use this tag for questions about file management and operations on files.

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6
votes
1answer
5k views

Group within group file permissions

I tried finding this on here, but couldn't so sorry if it's a duplicate. Say I have 2 groups and a user: group1, group2, user1 with the following structure: group1 is a member of group 2, user1 is a ...
4
votes
3answers
148 views

Local Account Creation Date

For compliance purposes there is the need to fetch information regarding local (user and non-user) accounts creation date on UNIX machines. Is there any way (even if it's not the most reliable or ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

When was file created [duplicate]

How can i see when a file was created. I have looked at man page ls -lc is for last modification of file status ls -lu for access time ls -l not exactly indicated which time, last changed? I ...
4
votes
3answers
554 views

granting write permissions to a group to a folder

How can I grant write permission to 1 group ? I have 2 users (alex and ben). alex is member of group alex and of group consult. ben is member of group ben and of group consult. I want to grant read ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

How to delete a directory automatically when an executable is killed

Quite often we run an executable that needs to write / read some temporary files. We usually create a temporary directory, run the executable there, and delete the directory when the script is done. ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Linux file access monitoring

Is there any way in unix to find out who accessed certain file in last 1 week? It may be user or some script ftp it to some other place. Can I get a list of user name who accessed certain file? How ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

How can I monitor a file that fully recreates during its run?

This is a follow-up question of Why are some file changes not shown in tail -f? With the use of capital F: tail -F I can monitor the output of tail -F ~/.mysql_history from the manual: ...
3
votes
1answer
816 views

Can't rename a directory that I own

I have a directory with a big load of sub directories. I own all of them, and the permissions are all 777. pascal@azazel /box $ ls -al total 147872 drwxr-xr-x 293 root root 12288 aoû 22 19:44 ...
2
votes
4answers
100 views

Can a running script identify the logging context?

Let us say I redirect the STDOUT, STDERR of a program to files. ./script.sh 1> output.log 2> error.log Can the running program find this out i.e. know the paths to these files?
2
votes
3answers
64 views

How to get a list of applications associated with a file using command line

File associations usually are made in the desktop environment, but how to get a list of applications associated with a file using command line? Something like: $ getassoc foo.pdf <CR> $ ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Get the newest file from directory structure year/month/date/time

I store backups of databases in a directory structure year/month/day/time/backup_name an example would be basics_mini/2012/11/05/012232/RATIONAL.0.db2inst1.NODE0000.20110505004037.001 ...
2
votes
2answers
574 views

How do I output a count of all files with “tty” in the filename in the Linux directory that holds files on system devices

I am having trouble knowing how to output a count of all files with “tty” in the filename in the Linux directory that holds files on system devices.
2
votes
2answers
118 views

What file system is my file on? [duplicate]

How do I figure out which file system a given file/directory is located on? (For example, I would like to know if the file/directory is a temporary file in RAM, or if it's stored on disk. And what ...
0
votes
1answer
248 views

Updating last modified time of a file

I have created a script to read 15 pcap files from a folder and merge then into one file using mergecap command. I want the merged file to have the creation time same as the first file of the 15 files ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

How can number of subdirectories and files be determined from ls -ld command? [closed]

How can number of subdirectories and files be determined from the output of using ls -ld command? I realize that this command only lists the directories.
39
votes
8answers
23k views

How can I edit multiple files in VIM?

I know I can open multiple files with vim by doing something like vim 2011-12*.log, but how can I switch between files and close the files one at a time? Also, how can I tell the file name of the ...
23
votes
3answers
10k views

Reading lines from a file with bash: for vs. while

I'm trying to read a text file and do something with each line, using a bash script. So, I have a list that looks like this: server1 server2 server3 server4 I thought I could loop over this using ...
23
votes
3answers
6k views

Clone ownership and permissions from another file?

Is there a command or flag to clone the user/group ownership and permissions on a file from another file? To make the perms and ownership exactly "like" that of another file?
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does a software package run just fine even when it is being upgraded?

Say I am running a software, and then I run package manager to upgrade the software, I notice that Linux does not bring down the running process for package upgrade - it is still running fine. How ...
18
votes
6answers
22k views

How do I can get the size of a file in a bash script?

How do I can get the size of a file in a bash script? How do I assign this to a bash variable so I can use it later?
12
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I replace a string in a file(s)?

Replacing strings in files based on certain search criteria is a very common task. How can I replace string foo with bar in all files in the current directory? do the same recursively for sub ...
11
votes
1answer
36k views

Where are Apache file access logs stored?

Does anyone know where file access logs are stored, so I can run a tail -f command in order to see who is accessing a particular file. I have XAMPP, which is an Apache server installed on my machine, ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

List the files accessed by a program

time is a brilliant command if you want to figure out how much CPU time a given command takes. I am looking for something similar that can list the files being accessed by a program and its children. ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Pseudo files for temporary data

I often want to feed relatively short string data (could be several lines though) to commandline programs which accept only input from files (e.g. wdiff) in a repeated fashion. Sure I can create one ...
20
votes
8answers
15k views

How do I loop through only directories in bash?

I have a folder with some directories and some files (some are hidden, beginning with dot). for d in *; do echo $d done will loop through all files, but I want to loop only through directories. ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I make a file NOT modifiable?

While logged in, I can do the following: mkdir foo touch foo/bar chmod 400 foo/bar chmod 500 foo Then I can open vim (not as root), edit bar, force a write with w!, and the file is modified! How ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Flattening a nested directory

This is probably very simple, but I can't figure it out. I have a directory structure like this (dir2 is inside dir1): /dir1 /dir2 | --- file1 | --- file2 What is ...
39
votes
3answers
26k views

How to tell gzip to keep original file?

I would like to compress a text file using gzip command line tool while keeping the original file. By default running the following command gzip file.txt results in modifying this file and renaming ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I do a “copy if changed” operation?

I would like to copy a set of files from directory A to directory B, with the caveat that if a file in directory A is identical to a file in directory B, that file should not be copied (and thus its ...
13
votes
2answers
449 views

Is that possible to integrate zip and tar.gz files as directory into the file system

I wonder if there is a way to integrate (it's a bit different from mounting, I think) compressed files as directories into the file system? E.g., one could download a compressed-file.tar.gz to his ...
9
votes
3answers
814 views

Open a text file and let it update itself

How can I open a text file and let it update itself? Similar to the way top works. I want to open a log file and watch it update itself on the fly. I have just tried: $ tail error.log But just ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

How to copy directories with preserving hardlinks?

How to move directories that have files in common from one to another partition ? Let's assume we have partition mounted on /mnt/X with directories sharing files with hardlinks. How to move such ...
6
votes
7answers
14k views

List only regular files (but not directories) in current directory

I can use ls -ld */ to list all the directory entries in the current directory. Is there a similarly easy way to just list all the regular files in the current directory? I know I can use find find . ...
14
votes
3answers
18k views

Find and remove large files that are open but have been deleted

How does one find large files that have been deleted but are still open in an application? How can one remove such a file, even though a process has it open? The situation is that we are running a ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

ls taking long time in small directory

Running Ubuntu, I open a terminal and do sudo bash cd / ls | head -n 1000 And predictably about 20 directories are returned. However, if I do an ls, and don't pipe it into anything, the ls just ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

Normal looking text file, detected by file as ASCII Pascal program text

I have a "normal" looking text file (contains english sentences) which is getting detected by file command as ASCII Pascal program text. How does Pascal program text differentiate itself from normal ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

List X random files from a directory

Is there a way to list a set of say, 30 random files from a directory using standard Linux commands? (in zsh) The top answer described here does not work for me (sort does not recognize the option ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can files be created with permissions set on the command line?

When creating directories, mkdir -m <mode> <dir> provides for creating one or more directories with the given mode/permissions set (atomically). Is there an equivalent for creating files, ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Move all files with a certain extension from multiple subdirectories into one directory

Suppose I have a bunch of zip files in several directories: Fol1/Fol2 Fol3 Fol4/Fol5 And I want to move them all to a common base folder. How would I do this?
4
votes
0answers
159 views

Repeatably generate a read error for testing? [duplicate]

I'm trying to test the error handling in some software, in particular what happens when an error occurs reading from a file or pipe. Is there a simple way to send a certain amount of data to stdout ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

How much text does grep/egrep consume each time?

I'm confused on grep/egrep. These tools match a single line I think? In some cases I have heard "logical" line. Questions Is it correct to assume that essentially grep/egrep always processes a ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Finding sparse files?

Is there a straightforward way to find all the sparse files on my system, or in a particular directory tree? If it's relevant, I'm using zsh on Ubuntu 12.04, although a more generic Unix-y answer for ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you write specific bytes to a file?

Given a file myfile with the following contents: $ cat myfile foos A hexdump of the file gives us the contents: $ hexdump myfile 6f66 736f 000a Currently, I can create the file by specifying the ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why isn't there any shell command to create files?

Attention please: I am not asking how to make a file from the command line! I have been using touch for making files for years without paying attention that its main purpose is something else. If ...
11
votes
5answers
15k views

Linux ls to show only filename date and size

How can I use ls in linux to get a listing of filenames date and size only. I don't need to see the other info such as owner or permission. Is this possible?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What's so special about directories whose names begin with a dot?

I was wondering what the difference between these two were: ~/somedirectory/file.txt and ~/.somedirectory/file.txt It's really difficult to ask this on Google since I didn't know how to explain ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I append text to the beginning and end of multiple text files in Bash?

I have a directory full of text files. My goal is to append text to the beginning and end of all of them. The text that goes at the beginning and end is the same for each file. Based on code I got ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

A virtual file containing the concatenation of other files

Is there a way of creating a filesystem object akin to this: mknod files p cat file1 file2 ... fileN > files but such that it can be seeked in, as if it were a regular file?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Disk usage summary per user

Is there a way to get the disk usage per user under a given path? du doesn't seem to have an option to aggregate disk usage per user, and df only seems to report how much disk is left on the drive. ...
5
votes
3answers
328 views

Dynamic file content generation: Satisfying a 'file open' by a 'process execution'

I have a read-only file, F. A program, P, that I'm not the author of, needs to read F. I want the content of F to come from another 'generator' program, G, whenever P tries to read F (taking F to ...