I want to be able to run a find command in my bash script that will find files based on two seperate variables. I've gotten this far but I'm not sure how to get the final result working
find . -user $userid -name $filename

cat $uidscript  

So on so forth, the variable contains the username and the file owned by the username.
I think I need to seperate the userid and the filename into two seperate lists.

userid=$(cat $uidscript|cut -c1 -d':')
filename=$(cat $uidscript|cut -c2 -d':')`

From here I'm not sure how to organise the find command into a for loop. I would think it would go something like this..

for i in $userid, $filename;
    find . -user $userid -name $filename; 

Could someone give me a push in the right direction?


Use a while-read loop to process the lines of the file

while IFS=: read userid filename
    find . -user "$userid" -name "$filename"
done < "$uidscript"

You could do:

IFS=:   # split on :
set -f  # disable glob part of the split+glob operator
echo find . $(
  awk -F: '
      printf "%s", sep "(:-user:" $1 ":-name:" $2 ":):"
      sep = "-o:"
    }' < "$uidfile")

(remove the echo if that's the right command you want to run).


While the other options are fine, I'd like to correct some mistakes in your approach:

userid=$(cat $uidscript|cut -c1 -d':'):

  • -c gets characters, you need fields. Use cut -f1 -d:.
  • Useless use of cat: Just do: cut -f1 -d: <"$uidscript".
  • Store the result in an array so you can iterate over it and another array easily:

    IFS=$'\n'  # split on newline
    set -f     # disable the glob part of the split+glob operator
    userid=($(cut -f1 -d: <"$uidscript"))
  • Same for the filenames.

Then you can loop over the indices of either array:

for i in "${!userid[@]}"
    find . -user "${userid[i]}" -name "${filename[i]}"; 
  • @Stephane That's odd. I tested out that before posting (and added a space to an entry just to be sure), and I got three lines as expected. bash -c 'userid=("$(cut -f1 -d":"<blah)"); for i in "${!userid[@]}"; do echo "${userid[i]}"; done' gave me 10017, 10001 1, 10005 on separate lines. The parent shell is zsh, if it matters. – muru Jan 26 '15 at 23:03

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