I have more than 90 subdirectories and inside each one, there will be a number of .txt files.

What I need to do is to copy all those txt files out to one single directory.

How can I do that?

  • Are you seeking a minimal solution, or just something simple enough? Aug 23, 2014 at 15:38
  • @richard the correct answer has given me what i need Aug 23, 2014 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


use command :

find . -name "*.txt" -exec cp {} /path/to/destination \;
  • 1
    +1 Be careful though because if two files have the same basename one will be overwritten. Also you can make it a bit faster by replacing ... \; with ... +, since cp accepts more than two arguments.
    – user000001
    Aug 23, 2014 at 16:01
  • 3
    @user000001 …-exec cp {} foo + gives an error, it appears that the {} has to be at the end of the command. Do you need to do …-exec cp -t foo {} + Aug 23, 2014 at 16:23
  • 2
    @richard You are right it gives an error. Note to self: Never comment before testing :)
    – user000001
    Aug 23, 2014 at 16:59

To avoid running one cp per file (as with -exec cp {} /dest \;):

find . -name '*.txt" -type f -exec sh -c '
  exec cp "$@" /path/to/destination' sh {} +

Or with GNU cp:

find . -name '*.txt" -type f -exec cp -t /path/to/destination {} +

With zsh:

cp ./**/*.txt(.) /path/to/destination


cp ./**/*.txt(D.) /path/to/destination

If you want to include hidden files (or files in hidden dirs) like in the find solutions.

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