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I am trying to create a file occurent within my /tmp directory of each file containing a speicific string.

The problem is that the call to basename {} does not seem to work. Neither this, neither echo basename {}.

grep -R 'mystring' . | cut -d: -f 1 | uniq | xargs -n 1 -I {} touch /tmp/`basename {}`

Does anybody know how could I get the basename function executed on the xargs parameter ?

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    What are you really trying to do? Has it occurred to you that there may be multiple matching files in different places with the same basename? – jw013 Jul 15 '12 at 19:16
  • @jw013 I am well aware of this fact. But in this exact case this is not a problem. – Spredzy Jul 21 '12 at 17:37
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try this:

grep -R 'mystring' . | cut -d: -f 1 | uniq| xargs -n 1 -I {} -t -i ksh  -c "touch /tmp/$(basename {})"
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    Using sh instead of ksh works as well. – daniel kullmann Jul 17 '12 at 12:01
  • Wouldn't you need single quotes there? – Tilo Wiklund Jul 17 '12 at 14:57
  • both single and double quto will work for this, its better use single quotes. – sfgroups Jul 18 '12 at 0:40
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The problem is that the backticks are expanded too early (i.e. not once for each argument sent to xargs). There might be a better way, but you should be able to get away with an explicit bash loop:

grep -R 'mystring' . | cut -d: -f 1 | uniq | while read f; do touch "/tmp/`basename $f`"; done

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