I want to add and echo the sum of several files using shell script. How do I start? I have a list of them like that:

$ stat /etc/*.conf | grep Size | cut -f4 -d' '
  • 5
    you don't we simply use du? – msp9011 Nov 21 at 7:30
  • 1
    @msp9011, du will calculate also subdirectories – Romeo Ninov Nov 21 at 7:39
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    @RomeoNinov here we are checking only files...du -b /etc/*.conf – msp9011 Nov 21 at 8:42
  • @msp9011 Not if there is a directory matching the pattern. It's unlikely but not impossible. – BlackJack Nov 21 at 17:55
  • @msp9011 due to block sizes, etc, disk usage is not the same as total file size. – OrangeDog Nov 22 at 11:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can do this …

for s in $(stat /etc/*.conf | grep Size | cut -f4 -d' '); do 
    total=$(expr $total + $s)
  • Thanks! and if I want to output it in a file I do: echo total > my_file.txt, right? And what if I want to output the errors too what do I do then? – C. Cristi Nov 21 at 7:25
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    Don't use grep or cut on stat output. stat has format flags (%s) for this – ohno Nov 21 at 10:20
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    Also, 'Size' is likely to assume an English or "C " locale. – xenoid Nov 21 at 13:43
stat -c "%s" /etc/*.conf|paste -sd+|bc -l
  • Although effectively the same as @xenoid's solution, I prefer this because 1) less rigamarole with format strings and remembering to append the final "0"; and 2) while it costs a process, it hews closer to the "one thing well" philosophy. It's also a useful use of the (perhaps underappreciated) paste utility that can be applied to a larger class of problems: separating a bunch of stuff with a delimiter. Another example is "unwrapping" (removing the line breaks from) a text file: paste -sd$' ' inputfile. – TheDudeAbides Nov 21 at 23:20
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    @TheDudeAbides, all those things are true about awk. And it use one process less. And IMO is much more readable – Romeo Ninov Nov 22 at 10:29

Also something like can do the work (with awk)

stat -c "%s" /etc/*.conf|awk '{s+=$1} END {print s}'

With bc

{ stat -c '%s+\' /etc/*.conf ; echo 0 ; } | bc
  • The stat format adds a + sign and a continuation character after each size
  • a 0 is appended at the end to close the dangling final +

The most straightforward way is to use du -bc:

$ du -bc /etc/*.conf
5139    /etc/man_db.conf
393     /etc/nsswitch.conf
5532    total

If you need to extract only the number of bytes, pipe the output to awk:

$ du -bc /etc/*.conf | awk 'END { print $1 }'
  • Hope ... OP doesn't require the grand total size of all files... – msp9011 Nov 21 at 8:55
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    Also note that this gives disk usage, not apparent sizes of the files. --apparent-size option may be needed to use apparent sizes. – Ruslan Nov 21 at 17:04
  • @Ruslan The awk line also strips off the total – Izkata Nov 21 at 18:09
  • @Izkata oh, indeed, didn't notice this bit. – Ruslan Nov 21 at 18:49

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