Friday, February 17, 2012

More than one 'exec' action in 'find' command

When you run find command, you can pass the names of the found files to an arbitrary command using -exec option:

find /tmp -mtime +3 -exec rm {} \;

The curly braces get replaced by the name of found files and the command is executed for every file. However, if you want to run more than one command on the file or use the filename more than once in one command, you cannot do that:

Only one instance of `{}' is allowed within the command.

To bypass the limitation, you can execute a shell, passing the filename as an argument. In the commands executed by the shell, the argument will be available as $0:

find /tmp -mtime +3 -exec sh -c 'ls -ld "$0"; rm "$0"' {} \;

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