If you set a variable in
-exec action this will not be visible.
The fact that
find has found a file and printed its name is sufficient to decide that you don't want to archive the directory. So you don't need the
for file in $files loop, instead check that
$files is not empty.
find command supports the
-quit action you can use this to stop after the first match. (see How to stop the find command after first match?)
Instead of putting the output of the first
find into a variable and using a for loop with word splitting you should better read
find's output lime by line.
# find all the directories
# -mindepth 1 prevents "find" from printing "."
find . -mindepth 1 -type d | while read -r dir
# a subdirectory might no longer exist if a parent has been archived before
if [ -d "$dir" ]
# search any new file in the directory
newfilefound=`find $dir -type f -atime -30 -print -quit`
if [ -z "$newfilefound" ]
tar -zcvf $dir.tgz $dir
rm -r $dir
If you are using bash you can improve the first
find to correctly handle more directory names with special characters:
find . -type d -print0 | while IFS= read -r -d '' dir; do...
There is still a performance issue:
If a directory contains a new file somewhere in a subdirectory you don't remove it. Later you will get all subdirectory names down to the one with this file. In this case you will use
find several times to find the same new file.
The only solution that comes to my mind is to use two
find, some post-processing and one
- Let one
find print the names of all new files, process the output by removing the file names, printing all the parent directories as separate lines and removing duplicates and putting the list into a file NEWDIRS.
- With a second
find print all directory names to a second file ALLDIRS.
fgrep to find all lines from ALLDIRS that don't match a line in NEWDIRS.
You should check that the
tar command was successful before removing the directory.