I can do this in Windows CMD scripting but now I am getting into Debian via Raspberry Pi.

What I'd like to do is...

(In current folder)

  • For each subfolder...
    • Create a file called original_filenames.txt
    • Echo the name of the folder into this original_filenames.txt
    • List all files (including any subfolders) to original_filenames.txt
  • 1
    What are you having an issue doing? Please include the script you are attempting to use in your question and any errors you are encountering.
    – kemotep
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 18:28
  • Do you want to descend into subfolders and list those files? Commented May 30, 2018 at 18:57
  • Yes I want to recurse through subfolders. I think I've got something working now, I was getting an error until I added quotes to deal with spaces in folder names:#!/bin/bash; for dir in */ ; do ; tree -s "$dir">"$dir/original_filenames.txt"; done
    – Murgatroyd
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:24
  • That's a good lesson. You'll want to read Security implications of forgetting to quote a variable in bash/POSIX shells Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


Using a shell loop:

for dir in */; do
    { printf '%s\n' "$dir"
      ( cd "$dir" && find . )
    } >"$dir/original_filenames.txt"

This iterates over all subdirectories in the current directory. The body of the loop outputs the name of the directory, and then a list of all files and directories, recursively, in that directory. This output goes to the original_filenames.txt file in the directory.


for dir in */; do
    find "$dir" >"$dir/original_filenames.txt"

This gives slightly different output in that the pathnames that are written to the file all start with the name of the subfolder.

If you're uninterested in directory names and just want pathnames of the regular files, use find with -type f after the directory name.

Note that if you're planning on using the generate output files for anything, then this will fail (or at least be very problematic) if any of the found pathnames contain newlines (which is entirely possible on a Unix system).


You could do this with the find command and the exec option - something like this:

find . -type d \( ! -name . \) -exec bash -c '
    dirname=$(basename "{}") && 
    cd "{}" && 
    echo "{}" > original_filenames.txt && 
    ls | grep -Fv original_filenames.txt >> original_filenames.txt
' \;

Here's a StackOverflow post you might find useful:

  • 1
    For readability, you can have newlines in a single quoted string, and && at the end of a line does not require a line continuation. Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:02
  • 1
    Instead of putting {} in the middle of the shell script, you may want to pass it as an argument and use "$1" inside the shell script, to avoid issues with strange filenames. Also, I can't see what dirname is used for here, and you don't need \( \) around ! -name ..
    – ilkkachu
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:15
  • @ilkkachu Thanks for the comment. The unused dirname was a typo/mistake on my part. I'm now using it to add just the filename to the output file. The ! -name . was to ignore the current directory (i.e. to only apply the commands to proper subdirectories) - I removed it.
    – igal
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:21
  • @glennjackman Thanks for the comment. I've update my post as you suggested.
    – igal
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:22
  • 1
    @igal, I added a version I think is readable. If you don't like, please edit it out. Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:24

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