1

I have a large collection of files packed into a two-level directory structure with many, many, many folders.

In other words, I have a folder with a great many subfolders in it. There are no subfolders in these subfolders, however, there are hundreds of files in them.

What I would like to do is move all the files out of these subfolders into the directory that holds the subfolders.

This is a limited resource system, so a way to do it without two copies of all these files having to exist at once would be amazing......

  • Can you please edit your post and give an approximated tree view of your current situation, and one of the desired "after"? – tink Apr 4 '13 at 5:28
  • So it has been done... – user1833028 Apr 4 '13 at 5:36
1

With GNU tools:

cd that-dir &&
  find . -mindepth 2 ! -type d -exec mv -it . {} +
0

Go to the parent directory and run

mv -- */* .

(-- is only necessary if there are subdirectories whose name begins with -)

If there are files in the subdirectories that begin with . (dot files), or subdirectories whose name begins with ., you'll need to move them as well:

mv -- */* */.[!.]* */..?* .
mv -- .[!.]*/* .[!.]*/.[!.]* .[!.]*/..?* .
mv -- ..?*/* ..?*/.[!.]* ..?*/..?* .

Make sure that there are no conflicts, otherwise the last file you move will silently overwrite a previously-moved file with the same name. Pass the -i option to mv (i.e. mv -i */* .) to be prompted in case of a conflict.

You can then remove the subdirectories:

rmdir */

If you get an error telling you that the command line is too long, you'll have to do it in several steps. The easy way is with the find command:

find */ -type f -exec mv -i {} . \;

or, slightly faster:

find */ -type f -exec sh -c 'mv -i -- "$@" "$0"' . {} +

Even faster, on a non-embedded Linux system:

find . -mindepth 2 -type f -exec mv -it . {} +

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.