I'm trying to create a bash script that will be able to perform a find command to get the permissions and full path of every file/directory in a directory tree and create a file for each unique permission and printing each full file path to that permissions file. Then in the future I could read these files and use them to permissions to the way they were when I ran the script.

For instance:

drwxrwxrwx /home/user/testDirectory  
-rwxrwxrwx /home/user/testDirectory/testFile  
drwxr-xr-x /home/user/testDirectory/directory2  
-rwxr-xr-x /home/user/testDirectory/directory2/test2 

The above would create 2 files (e.g. 777.txt and 755.txt) that would each have 2 of the lines.

I am struggling with the logic to create a file for each unique permission and then send the full file path.

What I have so far (I doubt the array is necessary, but I have played with sorting the array by permission which I can do with -k 1.2 on the sort command to ignore the d flag):

declare -a PERMS


while read line
     (( i++ ))
done < <( find /opt/sas94 -printf ""%M/" "%p/"\n")
  • Can we assume that none of your directory or file names will contain a newline character? Jun 6, 2019 at 18:56
  • Since directory and file names can easily contain one or more spaces I'd suggest you put the permissions number/string as the first item and the path name as the remainder of the line. Jun 6, 2019 at 18:59
  • Yes no newline characters. The permissions are the first thing printed by the find command. Looking at my initial post I realize the format screwed up for the example output of the file command. But each line starts with a permission and then the full path. One combo per line.
    – Varathiel
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:06
  • What is going on with your quotes “-printf ""%M/" "%p/"\n"”? Jun 6, 2019 at 19:13
  • Apparently, the ones around the %M and %p are unnecessary. It works both as ""%M/" "%p/"\n" and "%M/ %p/\n".
    – Varathiel
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


Try this:


while read file; do
        stat -c '%A %n' "$file" >> $(stat -c '%a' "$file").txt
done < <(find "$1")


./script.sh /path/to/directory
  • the first stat -c '%A %n' "$file" prints the permissions and path to the file, e.g. -rw-rw-rw- /foo/bar
  • the second stat -c '%a' "$file" prints the permissions in octal form, e.g. 666

The output of the first stat is appended to the filename created by the second stat with suffix .txt.

  • Thank you! This works great.
    – Varathiel
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:01

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