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Old 11-02-2006, 05:18 AM   #1
venusian
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Arguments too long with ls command


hi,

i'm using this command

ls xyz*

to print all files starting with xyz. but i get the message "Arguments too long".

Can any one tell me the reason i'm getting it and how can i get my directory listing displayed.

Waiting for reply
Thanking in Advance
 
Old 11-02-2006, 05:56 AM   #2
jschiwal
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Due to shell globbing, the command line is expanded with all the files matching the pattern, such as "ls xyz1 xyz2 xyz3 xyz4 ..."
If there are too many files matching the pattern, the shell runs out of memory.
As an alternative you can use:
find ./ -maxdepth 1 -name "xyz*"

The same problem can occur in a for loop like this:
for file in xyz*; do
command(s)
done

For this you can use find and xargs:
find ./ -maxdepth 1 -name "xyz*" -print0 | xargs -0 -L 200 <command>
 
Old 11-02-2006, 06:21 AM   #3
matthewg42
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When you enter this command, the shell tries to expand the pattern xyz*, and then pass the resulting expanded list to ls as arguments. There is a limit to the length of the list of parameters which may be passed to a program, although it is pretty big. See here for more information.

I suspect you have a very large number of files which match the pattern xyz*, exceeding this maximum.

The limitation is in bash itself. Don't worry though, you can use other programs to work around this problem. For example, this command should do what you want:

Code:
find . -maxdepth 1 -name 'xyz*' -print0 |xargs -r -0 ls
It's ugly, but it works.
 
Old 04-27-2007, 06:09 AM   #4
venusian
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Hi,

I'm trying to compress the files starting with the String "xyz", when i gave the following command, the system again gave me the message "Arguments Too Long" .

tar -cvf My_Files.tar xyz*

So i used the following command instead

tar -cvf My_Files.tar find ./ -name "xyz"

The problem with this is that it copies all the files present in the current directory and compresses them.

Can anyone please tell me how i can modify the command so that it only includes those files which match the string.

Regards,
 
Old 04-27-2007, 02:20 PM   #5
indeliblestamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venusian
So i used the following command instead

tar -cvf My_Files.tar find ./ -name "xyz"

The problem with this is that it copies all the files present in the current directory and compresses them.
Hi,
You need to enclose the find command in backticks. Its output will then be passed to the tar command. Try this:
Code:
tar cvf My_Files.tar `find . -maxdepth 1 -name "xyz*"`
 
Old 04-27-2007, 05:48 PM   #6
Tap-Out
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would doing a
Code:
ls | grep xyz
not do the same thing?
 
  


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