My script below has two problems:

  • The script stops after first matched directory
  • rm -i is not quite interactive

What are my incorrect assumptions that make it fail? How can I fix it?

ls -1A | xargs -d "\n" \
sh -c '(find "$1" -mindepth 1 -maxdepth 1 \
    -name "*.flac" | read 2>/dev/null) || rm -ri "$1"'
  • 1
    Since you say that your script doesn't quite work, please can you state categorically what it is that you want it to do. (Including a definition of your criteria for deletion.) – roaima Mar 29 '15 at 16:15

rm's stdin (where it reads the prompt answer from) is /dev/null (set by GNU xargs, some other xargs implementations would keep it as the pipe from ls).

Your sh is getting many arguments at once, but you're only processing one ($1).

Also note that the newline character is as valid as any in a file name which is why you generally can't process the output of ls reliably.

With zsh:

for dir (*(ND/)) {
  (($#flacs)) || rm -ri -- $dir

Otherwise, you could do:

find . ! -name . -prune -type d -exec sh -c '
  for dir do
    find "$dir/." ! -name . -prune -type f -name "*.flac" | read f ||
      rm -ri "$dir"
  done' sh {} +

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