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

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8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a bash script be hooked to a file?

I want a script to sleep unless a certain file is modifed/deleted (or a file created in a certain directory, or ...). Can this be achieved in some elegant way? The simplest thing that comes to my mind ...
41
votes
4answers
10k views

What's the point in adding a new line to the end of a file?

Some compilers (especially C or C++ ones) give you warnings about: No new line at end of file I thought this would be a C-programmers-only problem, but github displays a message in the commit view: ...
26
votes
5answers
16k views

How to determine which process is creating a file?

Given file path, how can I determine which process creates it (and/or reads/writes to it)?
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to find out what program or script created a given file?

Three files have suddenly appeared in my home directory, called "client_state.xml", "lockfile", and "time_stats_log". The last two are empty. I'm wondering how they got there. It's not the first time ...
38
votes
2answers
17k views

Why can rm remove read-only files?

If I create a file and then change its permissions to 444 (read-only), how come rm can remove it? If I do this: echo test > test.txt chmod 444 test.txt rm test.txt ...rm will ask if I want to ...
30
votes
1answer
33k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I rename a lot of files using a regex?

I want to rename a lot of files on Mac OS X (10.7.2).. I don't have the perl package for the rename command. My files have names like "T452-102456-0.png" and I want to delete the "-0" part. I know I ...
43
votes
5answers
32k views

What is a Superblock, Inode, Dentry and a File?

From the article Anatomy of Linux File Systems by Tim Jones, I read that Linux views all the file systems from the perspective of a common set of objects and these objects are superblock, inode, ...
4
votes
2answers
903 views

undelete files from local fileserver

I have a NAS (mybook world white light) in my living room where all my music and stuff is stored. I've mounted the music folder of the nas in the local music folder of my home directory on my desktop ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Rename All Files with a Certain Name

I'm trying to find certain files with the name "stringx" and replace the name (but not the extension) with "stringy". So basically for stringx.txt and stingx.cs, I'd want stringy.txt and stringy.cs. ...
16
votes
5answers
29k views

Script to monitor folder for new files?

How do I detect new files in a folder with a bash script? I would like to process the files as soon as they are created in the folder. Is this possible to do so or do I have to schedule a script with ...
29
votes
2answers
27k views

How do I do a ls and then sort the results by date created?

In what order are the dated ordered by? Certainly not alphanumeric order. ls -lt sorts by modification time. But I need creation time.
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How to list files that were changed in a certain range of time?

How can I list recursively all files that were changed between 22.12.2011 and 24.12.2011?
8
votes
6answers
8k views

Shell script for moving oldest files?

How do I write a script for moving just the 20 oldest files from one folder to another? Is there a way to grab the oldest files in a folder?
23
votes
6answers
29k views

How to find creation date of file?

I want to find out the creation date of particular file, not modification date or access date. I have tried with ls -ltrh and stat filename.
14
votes
3answers
2k views

I accidentally chmod -R +x on a directory. How do I restore the correct permissions?

Well, to be specific, it was chmod -R 755. Now every file is executable, which I don't want. I am thinking that I should look at the first two bytes of each file for the #!, but will this cover ...
27
votes
2answers
32k views

timestamp, modification time, and created time of a file

I just know that ls -t and ls -f give different sorting of files and subdirectories under a directory. What are the differences between timestamp, modification time, and created time of a file? How ...
21
votes
1answer
23k views

How can I increase the number of inodes in an ext4 filesystem?

I had a problem (new to me) last week. I have a ext4 (Fedora 15) filesystem. The application that runs on the server suddenly stopped. I couldn't find the problem at first look. df showed 50% ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I edit a large file in place?

I have a few files sized > 1 GB each. I need to remove last few bytes from the files. How can I do it? I prefer to edit file in place to save disk space. I am on HP-UX.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I make `cut` change a file in place?

The man page doesn't give me much hope, but I'm hoping it's an undocumented (and/or GNU-specific) feature.
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Who creates /etc/{group,gshadow,passwd,shadow}-?

In any linux system I have access to (a couple of Archlinuxes, an Ubuntu, a Debian Sid and a Gentoo) there are the following 4 files in /etc/, all ending with a dash: /etc/group- /etc/gshadow- ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Precedence of user and group owner in file permissions

I just ran into something unexpected (for me) regarding file permissions on Linux (Arch Linux). Basically I have: userX in groupX fileX userX:groupX ---rwx---- What puzzles me: I cannot perform ...
51
votes
15answers
15k views

Is there an easy way to replace duplicate files with hardlinks?

I'm looking for an easy way (a command or series of commands, probably involving find) to find duplicate files in two directories, and replace the files in one directory with hardlinks of the files in ...
33
votes
6answers
15k views

Howto find duplicate files on disk

Is it possible to find duplicate files on my disk which are bit to bit identical but have different file-names?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a file that was originally sparse and expanded be made re-sparse

I know that copying or transferring what was originally a sparse file without using a utility that understands sparse files will cause the 'holes' to be filled out. Is there a method or utility to ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Renaming a bunch of files with date modified timestamp at the end of the filename?

So, say, I have a directory with a bunch of files like g.txt, where g.txt was last modified on, say, June 20, 2012. How would I batch-rename all of the files (like g.txt) with the last modified date ...
8
votes
2answers
425 views

Cleaner way to delete files on Linux which include a datestamp as part of file name

I have a new requirement to purge MySQL dump files that are older than 30 days. The files use a naming convention of "all-mysql-YYYYMMDD-HHMM.dump". The files are located on SAN mounted file system, ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

Cannot delete a file - permission denied - why?

[db2inst1][testing ~/sqllib/db2dump] rm db2diag.log rm: cannot remove `db2diag.log': Permission denied [db2inst1][testing ~/sqllib/db2dump] id uid=1002(db2inst1) gid=107(db2iadm1) ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

Bash, remove oldest files

I`m trying to delete old files from directory and leave only 3 newest files. cd /home/user1/test while [ `ls -lAR | grep ^- | wc -l` < 3 ] ; do rm `ls -t1 /home/user/test | tail -1` ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

get age of given file

How can I get the age of a given file in, at least, days? I'm well aware of ls -lh and similar commands. I want something that will work sort of like this: getfage <FILE> # prints out '12d' ...
4
votes
1answer
691 views

Automatically detect when a file has reached a size limit

I would like to send an email when a file reach a certain size limit. The only way I thought of doing this is by doing a cronjob which will check the file size and send the email if the file is ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Access history of a file

I was wondering if there are any tools to keep track of the access history of a file. I know of stat, but as far as I understand, it only returns information about the last time the file was accessed. ...
25
votes
12answers
35k views

Efficiently delete large directory containing thousands of files

We have an issue with a folder becoming unwieldy with hundreds of thousands of tiny files. There are so many files that performing rm -rf returns an error and instead what we need to do is something ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an “open with” command for the command line?

Does the command line have a way to get a recommended list of programs used to open a particular file, based on the file type? For example, a .pdf file would have an open with... recommendation using ...
21
votes
4answers
78k views

How to get over “device or resource busy”?

I tried to rm -rf a folder, and got "device or resource busy". In Windows, I would have used LockHunter to resolve this. What's the linux equivalent? (Please give as answer a simple "unlock this" ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How to implement a horizontal cat? [duplicate]

Standard cat concatenates files line by line (row by row, if you will). I find myself needing a horizontal cat command more and more often recently; i.e. a command that takes a list of files and ...
12
votes
8answers
11k views

How to move 100 files from a folder containing thousands?

I have a directory with thousands of files. How can I move 100 of the files (any files will do) to another location.
13
votes
2answers
441 views

How can I be sure that a directory or file is actually deleted?

I know that most files, when deleted, aren't actually removed from the disk, and can be recovered later. How can I ensure that a directory I had deleted will actually be removed from the disk? Are ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

What are character special and block special files in a unix system?

How are character special files and block special files different from regular files in a Inix-like system? Why are they called “character special” and “block special” respectively?
35
votes
3answers
122k views

Get file created/creation time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I do a ls and then sort the results by date created? Is there a command in Linux which displays when the file was created ? I see that ls -l gives the last ...
16
votes
3answers
25k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Quickly find which file(s) belongs to a specific inode number

I know of this command: find /path/to/mountpoint -inum <inode number> but it is a very slow search, I feel like there has to be a faster way to do this. Does anybody know a faster method?
7
votes
3answers
13k views

Test if there are files matching a pattern in bash

I am trying to write an if statement in bash to test whether there are any files matching a certain pattern. If there is a text file in a directory it should run a given script. My code currently if ...
12
votes
3answers
729 views

Determining if a file is a hard link or symbolic link?

I'm creating a shell script that would take a a filename/path to a file and determines if the file is a symbolic link or a hard link. The only thing is, I don't know how to see if they are a hard ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

How to create a file even root user can't delete it

How to create a file even root user can't delete it ?
8
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

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

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
866 views

Clone directory tree structure and copy files to the corresponding directories modified after a specific date

I have a folder with more than 30 sub directories and I want to get the list of the files which was modified after a specified date(say sep 8 which is the real case) and to be copied with the same ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Keep log file size fixed without logrotate

Is there any way to keep file size of log file fixed without rotating it by a new empty file and deleting (or archiving) the old file. For example, if I set log file maximum size to 1MB, after the ...