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Could you please help me figure out how to do this?

Let's say, under this directory:

/home/user1/

there are 100 folders, the name of these folders are 1, 2, 3 ... to 100. In each folder, there are 26 files.

  • The names of the files in folder 1 are 1a, 1b ... to 1z.
  • The names of the files in folder 2 are 2a, 2b ... to 2z.
  • The names of the files in folder 100 are 100a, 100b... to 100z.

How can I copy all the files ending with z to a new folder?

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2 Answers 2

Use the find command:

find . -type f -name \*z -exec cp {} newfolder/ \;

That looks a bit complicated, so I'll break it down.

Find finds files, where you tell it and below. The dot by itself means 'current directory'. The next parameter '-type f' means 'find things of type file'. The '-name *z' means 'and things with a name that matches '*z'. Next, the '-exec cp {} newfolder/' means to execute the cp command on the found item - the command substitutes the matching filename for the {}. Finally, the '\;' terminates the exec command string - miss that and you'll get an error.

If you just want to see what files match, do this:

find . -type f -name \*z -print

That'll just print the matching files to the screen.

This should work in pretty much any Linux, UNIX, or Mac Terminal.

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Use wildcards.

cp /home/user1/*/*z newfolder/

Some of the wildcards include *, ? and [].

* matches any number of characters which can be any character

? matches one character which can be any character

[] matches one character which is within the range of characters defined

Example:

[jin@crypt /tmp] % ls foo/*/* 
foo/bar/1a  foo/bar/1c  foo/baz/1a  foo/baz/1c  foo/baz/2d  foo/quux/1b foo/quux/1d
foo/bar/1b  foo/bar/1d  foo/baz/1b  foo/baz/1d  foo/quux/1a foo/quux/1c foo/quux/3d

[jin@crypt /tmp] % ls foo/*/*d
foo/bar/1d  foo/baz/1d  foo/baz/2d  foo/quux/1d foo/quux/3d

[jin@crypt /tmp] % ls foo/ba?/*d
foo/bar/1d  foo/baz/1d  foo/baz/2d

[jin@crypt /tmp] % ls foo/ba??/*d
zsh: no matches found: foo/ba??/*d

[jin@crypt /tmp] % ls foo/baz/*[a-c]
foo/baz/1a  foo/baz/1b  foo/baz/1c
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