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I would like a BASH command to list just the count of files in each subdirectory of a directory.

E.g. in directory /tmp there are dir1, dir2, ... I'd like to see :

`dir1` : x files 
`dir2` : x files ...
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Assuming you want a recursive count of files only, not directories and other types, something like this should work:

find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d | while read dir; do
  printf "%-25.25s : " "$dir"
  find "$dir" -type f | wc -l
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works perfectly! thanks. –  jldupont Sep 14 '12 at 21:36
Also, I get "find: warning: you have specified the -maxdepth option after a non-option argument -type, but options are not positional (-maxdepth affects tests specified before it as well as those specified after it). Please specify options before other arguments." –  jldupont Sep 14 '12 at 21:38
Both answers given so far will give incorrect results in the unlikely case that there are files whose names include newline characters. You can handle that with a find ... -print0 | xargs -0 .... –  Scott Sep 14 '12 at 21:57
@jldupont: move the depth arguments before the ´-type d´, I've edited the answer. –  Thor Sep 14 '12 at 22:58
bonus points for nice formatting! –  Andreas Petersson Nov 1 '13 at 7:09

Using find is definitely the way to go if you want to count recursively, but if you just want a count of the files directly under a certain directory:

ls dir1 | wc -l

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I don't want to do this for each of the 1000's of directories I've got there... –  jldupont Sep 14 '12 at 21:37
Then use xargs. ls -d */ | xargs -n1 ls | wc -l (Use the answer you accepted if it already works, though! This is just And Now You Know.) –  jrajav Sep 14 '12 at 21:41
your proposal didn't show up any results in many seconds whereas the answer I accepted did. –  jldupont Sep 15 '12 at 8:03
@jrajav this approach absolutely fails for directories with whitespace in them. This is why find is so important. (let alone -print0 and xargs -0, already pointed out by Scott in the other answer) –  syntaxerror Nov 25 '14 at 13:03

This task fascinated me so much that I wanted to figure out a solution myself. It doesn't even take a while loop and MAY be faster in execution speed. Needless to say, Thor's efforts helped me a lot to understand things in detail.

So here's mine:

find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d -exec sh -c 'echo "{} : $(find "{}" -type f | wc -l)" file\(s\)' \;

It looks modest for a reason, for it's way more powerful than it looks. :-)

However, should you intend to include this into your .bash_aliases file, it must look like this:

alias somealias='find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d -exec sh -c '\''echo "{} : $(find "{}" -type f | wc -l)" file\(s\)'\'' \;'

Note the very tricky handling of nested single quotes. And no, it is not possible to use double quotes for the sh -c argument.

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