When I am using the command to find all the files in a directory and its sub directories and redirecting the output into a file result.txt, then in result.txt file I am getting all the files including result.txt but I don't want result.txt.

like I am doing

find . -type f > allfiles.txt

in result I am getting as


How to avoid that?

  • 1
    Why not just redirect to a file in a different directory? find . -type f >/tmp/allfiles? – Lee Daniel Crocker Nov 15 '17 at 17:40
  • The > file bit is handled by the shell before the program is started, so if you don't want that to happen then, you cannot pipe it to there in this way. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Nov 15 '17 at 18:47

Simply, don't put your allfiles.txt file into the same directory you're runing find for. Put it somewhere else, like:

find . -type f > /tmp/allfiles.txt

Or if it has to be in the same directory, filter it our with grep:

find . -type f | grep -vxF ./allfiles.txt > allfiles.txt

(assuming there are no other files called ./foo\n./allfiles.txt for instance)

  • See edit with -x and -F to catch even fewer files (still potentially a problem with filenames containing newline characters as noted). – Stéphane Chazelas Nov 15 '17 at 11:52

Here with find specifically, you can do:

find . ! -path ./allfiles.txt -type f > allfiles.txt

More generally, you can delay the creation of the output file until after the command has returned using moreutils' sponge command:

ls -lRA | sponge allfiles.txt

Though that does mean storing the whole output in memory.

If moreutils is not installed (it's generally not by default), you can implement sponge as:

sponge() {
  perl -0777 -e '$text=<STDIN>;
                 open STDOUT, ">", shift or die$!;
                 print $text' -- "$@"

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