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I am trying to automate an svnadmin dump command for a backup script, and I want to do something like this:

find /var/svn/* \( ! -name dir -prune \) -type d -exec svnadmin dump {} > {}.svn \;

This seems to work, in that it looks through each svn repository in /var/svn, and runs svnadmin dump on it.

However, the second {} in the exec command doesn't get substituted for the name of the directory being processed. It basically just results a single file named {}.svn.

I suspect that this is because the shell interprets > to end the find command, and it tries redirecting stdout from that command to the file named {}.svn.

Any ideas?

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up vote 23 down vote accepted

You can do the redirection like this:

find /var/svn/* \( ! -name dir -prune \) -type d -exec sh -c 'svnadmin dump {} > {}.svn' \;

and the correct substitution will be done.

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No, however you can write a simple bash script to do that then call it from find.
Example (/tmp/

svn admin dump "$1" > "$1".svn


find /var/svn/* \( ! -name dir -prune \) -type d -exec sh /tmp/ '{}' \;
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