I am on a remote machine attempting to move all loader.gif files into a /Pictures folder

find . -iname *.gif | grep loader shows four file I would like to move, naturally I tried: find . -iname *.gif | grep loader -exec cp *.gif /home/me/

How could I copy all files matching my criteria of loader.gif through a find and a grep command? (I am using grep because the original find command results show ALL .gif files, but I only desire loader.gif filenames)

2 Answers 2



find . -iname '*.gif' -print0 | grep -z loader | xargs -r0 cp -t /home/me


find . -name '*.[gG][iI][fF]' -path '*loader*' -exec sh -c '
  exec cp "$@" /home/me' sh {} +

(I used -path so it be equivalent with the grep solution, but it sounds like you want loader to be found in the name of the file as opposed to its directory components, in which case you should use -name instead).

Note that -iname '*.gif' may fail to match on a .GIF in a locale where uppercase i is İ instead of I (like Turkish locales on GNU systems).

  • What is the significance of loader after grep, I do not see loader in man grep
    – phillipsk
    Aug 10, 2015 at 0:10

I think xargs is the more simple and direct solution:

find . -iname *.gif | grep loader | xargs cp -t /home/me
  • That assumes none of the file names contain blanks (the list of which depends on the locale and the xargs implementation), newline, single quote, double quote or backslash characters. Aug 3, 2015 at 20:28

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