Globbing means matching files by name patterns containing wildcards.

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71
votes
3answers
287k views

Zip all files in directory?

Is there a way to zip all files in a given directory with the zip command? I've heard of using *.*, but I want it to work for extensionless files, too.
68
votes
7answers
67k views

How do you move all files (including hidden) from one directory to another?

How do I move all files in a directory (including the hidden ones) to another directory? For example, if I have a folder "Foo" with the files ".hidden" and "notHidden" inside, how do I move both ...
55
votes
7answers
20k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Is the star in front of ls means how deep it can list the ...
53
votes
8answers
56k views

Rsync filter: copying one pattern only

I am trying to create a directory that will house all and only my PDFs compiled from LaTeX. I like keeping each project in a separate folder, all housed in a big folder called LaTeX. So I tried ...
48
votes
2answers
45k views

How to use wildcards (*) when copying with scp?

Why can't I copy with scp when I'm using * characters in the path? scp SERVERNAME:/DIR/* . What configs do SCP need to allow * in the path? UPDATE: the problem is not on server side, pscp is ...
43
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does rm *(1)* remove all files in a directory?

I expected that: $ rm *(1)* would remove all files containing (1) in the name. I was wrong. It removed all files in the directory. Why?
38
votes
7answers
7k views

why does ls -d also list files, and where is it documented?

when specifying ls --directory a* it should list only directories starting with a* BUT it lists files AND directories starting with a Questions: where might I find some documentation on this, ...
38
votes
8answers
85k 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 . ...
33
votes
1answer
3k views

Does 'rm .*' ever delete the parent directory?

The expression .* is expanded by bash to include the current and parent directories: $ ls -la total 2600 drwxrwxrwx 2 terdon terdon 2162688 Sep 10 16:22 . drwxr-xr-x 142 terdon terdon 491520 Sep ...
32
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my regular expression work in X but not in Y?

I wrote a regular expression which works well in a certain program (grep, sed, awk, perl, python, ruby, ksh, bash, zsh, find, emacs, vi, vim, gedit, …). But when I use it in a different program (or on ...
30
votes
10answers
61k views

Converting multiple image files from JPEG to PDF format

I want to convert some files from jpeg to pdf. I am using following command. $ convert image1.jpg image1.pdf But I have 100 images. How should I convert all of them to corresponding pdfs? I ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Why does [A-Z] match lowercase letters in bash?

In all shells I am aware of, rm [A-Z]* removes all files that start with an uppercase letter, but with bash this removes all files that start with a letter. As this problem exists on Linux and ...
28
votes
5answers
40k views

rm -rf all files and all hidden files without . & .. error

rm -rf /some/path/* deletes all non-hidden files in that dir (and subdirs). rm -rf /some/path/.* deletes all hidden files in that dir (but not subdirs) and also gives the following error/warning: ...
28
votes
2answers
961 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
11k views

Recursive glob?

I'd like to write something like this: $ ls **.py in order to get all .py filenames, recursively walking a directory hierarchy. Even if there are .py files to find, the shell (bash) gives this ...
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 ...
25
votes
6answers
41k views

How to copy some, but not all files?

So, you can use the * as a wild card for all files when using cp within context of a directory. Is there a way to copy all files except x file?
25
votes
7answers
34k views

How to match case insensitive patterns with ls?

I would like to list all files matching a certain pattern while ignoring the case. For example, I run the following commands: ls *abc* I need to see all the file that have "abc" as a part of the ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between [[ $a == z* ]] and [ $a == z* ]?

Is there is any difference between these two. [[ $a == z* ]] and [ $a == z* ] Can I have an example where they would have different outputs? Furthermore, how does the working of [[ ]] differs ...
24
votes
1answer
663 views

Why does a unquoted wildcard work remotely with scp?

I'm typing this in Bash: scp user@remote:~/dir/*.xml . and it works, getting all the files that make the wildcard on the remote server. But why does this work? I thought that Bash expands wildcard ...
22
votes
5answers
7k views

What does `mv ./*` without specifying destination do?

I accidentally forgot to specify destination before hitting the Return key. Where does mv ./* without specifying destination move the files and directories under current directory to?
22
votes
9answers
7k 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
1k views

`command .*` acts on the parent directory [duplicate]

Someone of our team wanted to recursively change the user permissions on all hidden directories in a users home directory. To do so he executed the following command: cd /home/username chown -R ...
21
votes
6answers
22k views

Show only hidden files (dot files) in ls alias

I'm using the command ls -a | grep '^\.' for showing only the hidden files. I added the line alias hidden='ls -a | grep '^\.'' # show only hidden files to .bash_aliases file but this does not ...
21
votes
2answers
77k views

How can I assign the output of a command to a shell variable?

I want to assign the result of an expression to a variable and concatenate it with a string, then echo it. Here's what I've got: #!/bin/bash cd ~/Desktop; thefile= ls -t -U | grep -m 1 "Screen Shot"; ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What does .??* mean in a shell command?

The following command will tar all "dot" files and folders: tar -zcvf dotfiles.tar.gz .??* I am familiar with regular expressions, but I don't understand how to interpret .??*. I executed ls .??* ...
20
votes
7answers
38k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
36k views

Why is my find not recursive?

I am running the following command, but it is not performed recursively: find . -name *.java I know there are java files further down in the current directory but it is performing the find on the ...
20
votes
7answers
23k views

How do I copy multiple files by wildcard?

I have a folder with a number of files in it ABC.* (there are roughly 100 such files). I want to duplicate them all to new files with names starting with DEF.* So, I want ABC.Page1 ABC.Page2 ...
20
votes
1answer
777 views

How do ${0##*/} and ${0%/*} work?

I'm quite confused about the following regular expressions I found in a shell script: ${0##*/} ${0%/*} How do they work?
19
votes
10answers
14k views

How do I create a directory in all subdirectories?

Suppose I have a directory structure like this: $ [~/practice] ls a/ b/ c/ d/ Now I want to create a directory tmp1 in all sub directories of practice and I do this: $ [~/practice] mkdir */tmp1 ...
19
votes
1answer
961 views

Why doesn't 'find' show this file?

Using find with grep, one can locate files that match a pattern: # find | grep error ./solr-modifiedSolr4/SolrPhpClient/phpdocs/errors.html ./error_log ./includes/classes/error_log However, using ...
19
votes
3answers
34k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

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.
18
votes
3answers
18k views

How can I remove all symbolic links with a special target?

With the command: ls -la * I can list all my symbolic links. How can I remove all symbolic links which are linked to a special folder? For example: In my directory usr/local/bin I have the ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

Delete all files starting with a question mark

I have a folder in which I have around 4k files. Some of these files start with a a ? or ! character. I need to delete them but can't find an expression that would do so: rm -f ./?* just deletes ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is nullglob not default?

In most shells nullglob isn't the default. That means, for example, if you run this command ls * in an empty directory, it will expand the *-glob to a literal ' * ', instead to an empty list of ...
16
votes
5answers
26k views

In linux, how to delete all files EXCEPT the pattern *.txt?

I know how to delete all txt file under current directory by rm *.txt. Does anyone know how to delete all files in current directory EXCEPT txt file?
16
votes
5answers
34k views

How do I recursively delete directories with wildcard?

I am working through SSH on a WD My Book World Edition. Basically I would like to start at a particular directory level, and recursively remove all sub-directories matching .Apple*. How would I go ...
15
votes
2answers
534 views

Can I make `rm` interactive only when using globbing? (in either bash or zsh or both)

Whenever I rm multiple items at once with shell globbing and there's even the slightest possibility that the pattern expands to more than I expect it to, I always try to remember to add -i, but (of ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How to silently get an empty string from a glob pattern with no matches

Say I have a folder with three files: foo1 foo2 bar 1. If I run list_of_files=$(print foo*) echo $list_of_files I get: foo1 foo2 2. If I run list_of_files=$(print bar*) echo $list_of_files ...
14
votes
8answers
8k views

How do I delete everything in a directory?

I'm sorry for asking such a basic question: How do I delete everything in a directory, including hidden files and directories? Right now, I use the following: rm -rf * rm -rf .*
14
votes
1answer
14k views

How to download specific files from some url path with wget

If I don't want to have to download the files found in a specific url path manually, what options do I have? Using wildcards fail: $ wget 'http://www.shinken-monitoring.org/pub/debian/*deb' Warning: ...
13
votes
1answer
24k views

delete files matching pattern

I need to recursively remove all files in all subdirs where the filename contains a number followed by an 'x' followed by a number, at least two times. Example: I'd want to remove these files: ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does [a-z] asterisk match numbers?

I have 3 directories at current path. $ls a_0db_data a_clean_0db_data a_clean_data $ls a_*_data a_0db_data: a_clean_0db_data: a_clean_data: $ls a_[a-z]*_data a_clean_0db_data: a_clean_data: I ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

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
1k views

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
4answers
10k views

Bash script error with strings with paths that have spaces and wildcards

I am having trouble getting the basics of Bash scripting down. Here's what I have so far: #!/bin/bash FILES="/home/john/my directory/*.txt" for f in "${FILES}" do echo "${f}" done All I want to ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

The best way to expand glob pattern?

I need to expand a glob pattern (like ../smth*/*, or /etc/cron*/) into a list of files, programmatically. What would be the best way to do it?
12
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the .gitignore pattern equivalent of the regex (Big|Small)(State|City)-[0-9]*\.csv

I have a regex I stuck in my .gitignore similar to: (Big|Small)(State|City)-[0-9]*\.csv It didn't work so I tested it against RegexLab.NET. I then found the gitignore man page which led me to ...