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I want to find images, from a directory, that were added in last 1 year and copy them to a new directory preserving original folder structure.

I am using find but it is not copying anything. is there any way it can be done using 1 line command?

find image/* -mtime +356 -exec cp {} modified-last-year/ \;

I am in the image directory when running this command and i want to only search image folder recursively.

[EDIT]
After the two answers I did following.
1. find image/* -mtime +356 | cpio -pd /target_dir
I get 0 Blocks.

  1. find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 -type f ( "-name *.jpg -o -name *.gif ) -execdir cp {} /full/path/to/image_target_dir/modified-last-year \;
    AND
  2. find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 -type f -execdir cp {} /full/path/to/image_target_dir/modified-last-year \;
    Nothing copied.

    AND simply find to get count of files with and without -type f.

  3. find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 -type f | wc -l
    i get 0.

    I could verify that there are indeed files with in image dir and in sub directories which were added in last 1 yr. infact there should be more than 200 images.

    [EDIT 2]
    I have to also exclude one directory from find so the following code worked fine.

    Thanks to 1st answer, i was able to create this.
    find /full/path/to/image/* -path /full/path/to/image/ignored_dir -prune -o -print -mtime -365 | cpio -pd /full/path/to/target_dir/modified-last-year

2 Answers 2

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You can use find and cpio in passthrough mode:

 find  image/ -mtime -365 | cpio -pd /target_dir

EDIT: removed unnecessary * from the find path.

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  • For some reason I get 0 Block. I could verify that there are indeed files with in image dir and in sub directories which were added in last 1 yr. infact there should be more than 200 images. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:07
  • The nice thing about using find and cpio is that you can test that the find command returns the desired files, before piping to cpio. What does 'find image/ -mtime +356' return?
    – bjerre
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:45
  • With a plus sign it was giving no results. So i went out of image dir one level up and executed this command and it worked just fine. Is there a way to exclude one particular directory? Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:49
  • Also does it check -mtime for subdirectories as well? Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:53
  • Okay so i was able to finally successfully execute this... ` find /full/path/to/image/* -path /full/path/to/image/ignored_dir -prune -o -print -mtime -365 | cpio -pd /full/path/to/target_dir/modified-last-year` Also added for ignored dir and everything worked out well. Thank you. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:32
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If you already are in directory image, then find image/* ... spells trouble. Instead for relative paths, either use find . (etc) where the "." signifies the present directory and its sub-directory tree, or better yet, use absolute paths:

$ find /full/path/to/imagedir -mtime -365 -execdir cpio -pdv {} /absolute/path/to/targetdir \;

Provided you have proper permission to do so, the above should copy all files modified more recently than 365*24 hours (before today) in yr target-directory, while preserving the directory structure.

Option -execdir is safer than -exec, does the same but is executed from the directory where the selected file is found.

You can further restrict the files being parsed by find by specifying the options -type f \( "-name \*.jpg -o -name \*.gif \) in the above cmd.

cpio's options are:

-p for passthrough (does not make an archive out of the set of dound files)
-d to preserve the directory structure
-v to visualize files being copied

Look at the manual page for find, at https://www.gnu.org/software/cpio/manual/cpio.html for the complete cpio online manual, and remember www.startpage.com is a friend that does not make you the product when you look for answers.

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  • For some reason I get 0 files. I could verify that there are indeed files with in image dir and in sub directories which were added in last 1 yr. infact there should be more than 200 images. I did $ find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 -type f \( "-name \*.jpg -o -name \*.gif \) -execdir cp {} /full/path/to/image_target_dir/modified-last-year \; and I also did just simple find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 | wc -l but i get 0. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:10
  • @SyedMudabbir: very odd. Can you tell us the exact absolute paths you use to issue yr cmd ? Then execute $ find /full/path/to/image -mtime 365 -type f \( "-name \*.jpg -o -name \*.gif \); echo $? and print out the resulting 10 first lines if any in an EDIT in yr original question. There is something iffy going on.
    – Cbhihe
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:28
  • I was running this command while in image dir itself. The target dir was also in image dir. So i moved target dir out of image, went up one level .. and I just modified the command and made -mtime 365 as -mtime -365. I was using absolute path for both dirs. This worked but only issue was it was not including parent dirs and was copying only files. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:46
  • @SyedMudabbir: I did think that something along that line was causing trouble. To preserve directory structure, do (as suggested by bjerre above): $ find /full/path/to/imagedir -mtime -365 -execdir cpio -pd {} /absolute/path/to/targetdir \;. cpio's options are -p for passthrough (does not make an archive out of the set of dound files) and -dto preserve the directory structure. Sorry for the typo on -365. My bad !
    – Cbhihe
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:11

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