So I have a directory of like 200 of the the following types of files:


The only difference between these files is the numbers after d. I have a text file that only contains the d number for like 50 of these files. If I could get the entire file name I would but this text file is the output of another script. Is there a way I can move these files to another directory using the d number from the text file?


Using sed e flag :

sed 's|^\(.*\)$|mv gre_6_c1_\1.h3 newdir/|e' list.txt

Above will move the files to newdir/ change it accordingly.

I assume on list.txt the number are as below separated by new line:


Run this to confirm:

sed 's|^\(.*\)$|mv gre_6_c1_\1.h3 newdir/|' list.txt

With bash 4, you could load an array with file names derived from the numbers in the "driver" file and then use the -t option of GNU mv to move them into a directory at one shot. Note

#read contents of driver_file into an array arr using mapfile
mapfile -t arr <driver_file

#define prefix and suffix variables

#prefix each array element

#suffix each array element

#use GNU mv's -t facility to move files into newdir
mv -t newdir/ "${arr[@]}"
  • I just wrote my first bash script yesterday so this is a little over my head. Can you explain it a little more in depth? – e1v1s May 17 '16 at 20:46
  • @e1v1s, some explanation added – iruvar May 18 '16 at 13:51

Reading the numbers from the file one by one and doing the move (assumes a POSIX shell):

while read -r number; do
   [ -f "$name" ] && mv -i "gre_6_c1_d$number.h3" /other/directory
done <number.list

This also makes sure that the number yields the name of a file existing in the current directory before moving it to the other directory. The mv -i command will furthermore ask for confirmation before overwriting an existing file.

Since this question was tagged with , we could ask xargs to generate the list of numbers for us:

xargs sh -c '
    for number do
        [ -f "$name" ] && mv "gre_6_c1_d$number.h3" /other/directory
    done' sh <number.list

This wouldn't speed anything up, but if your xargs provides a -P flag for running things in parallel, you could get a small speed boost:

xargs -P 5 -n 10 -h sh -c '
    for number do
        [ -f "$name" ] && mv "gre_6_c1_d$number.h3" /other/directory
    done' sh <number.list

This would start at most five copies of the loop in parallel, and give each at most ten numbers each in batches.

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