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Using a shell like bash or zshell, how can I do a recursive 'find and replace'? In other words, I want to replace every occurrence of '/path/to/folder' with '/other/dir' in all files in this directory and its subdirectories.

This is essentially the same question as the original from this name but what I need to know is what happens if the text you want to replace has slashes in it like the above examples? Can I just paste my code in the find/replace spot into the args? Or do I have to do something else???

All of this will be done over ssh to Ubuntu server.


share|improve this question
your question is relly not clear maybe it will help if you add the code you like to use - if you have trouble with the slashes escaping them may help – konqui Jun 26 '14 at 4:10
The thing is that I know nothing about RegEx. Is there a place to learn it? – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:08
yes there is a lot of stuff about regex in the internet but take care about the fact that regex is not equal to regex (it depends a lot on the programming/script language your using/you'd like to use) - do you just want to do this a visual way (just show it on terminal/console) or do you wan't it to also change the directory in real (move files/rename folders)??? – konqui Jun 26 '14 at 11:15
I need to do it ALL in the console. It is on Godaddy servers through SSH – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:20
ok but what would you like to do just get a output to save in a text file or do an actual task e.g moving/renaming multiple files? – konqui Jun 26 '14 at 20:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use find and sed:

find . exec sed -i .bak 's,/path/to/folder,/other/dir,g' \;
  • You can also use awk or perl instead of sed - pick whatever you like.
  • You can pass options to find to limit the file you operate on &c
share|improve this answer
Thanks! I know how to do the find part it was the wording of sed that was the issue. I am going to test it now :) – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:09
Thanks! I used it like this:find html -name ".htaccess" -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i `` -e 's,/dir/with/a/lot/of/subs,/other/dir/with/some/more/subs,g' – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:24
It worked like a charm and that just took 200+ file edits of my back :) – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:24
Thanks for the proper syntax! – Elliot Labs Jun 26 '14 at 11:24

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