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Old 08-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
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Bash Question(for loop): How to Zip multiple files under multiple directories

So im trying to learn Bash and I figured out how to do a very simple for loop.

But I can't figure out this slightly more complex one.

My logs are stored in a directory structure like this. /<processname>/<date>/*.logs

I want to zip each individual date directory into its own zip with a name like $

What I was doing is pretty cumbersome. I was moving all the <date> directory to a new subdirectory called 'zipdrive' and then it was only naming it with the date. I was doing this:

for i in *; do zip -r zipdrive/$ $i ; done

There has to be a much faster way to do this, can anyone help?

Bonus question: How would I specify particular date ranges to be zipped?

Last edited by Znrall; 08-01-2012 at 11:47 AM.
Old 08-01-2012, 12:24 PM   #2
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Ok, well before you go and re-invent the wheel lets look at log rotate as this will do this functionality for you. I'm sure you've seen some of your system log files that are compressed with a .1 .2 .3 and so on extension. This is the log rotate daemon compressing and renaming old log files for you.

To answer your original question, yes this can be accomplished through a for loop or a more intricate script via a cron job or the like but the number one rule for being a good sys admin is to use the right tool for the job.

Read over this tutorial:

This will give you an idea of how to implement your solution, if you have further questions we can help you at that point. And if you are unable to use log rotate for this then we can get back to your original train of thought and try to help you write a decent script you can put into a cron job.
Old 08-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thank you for that. Quite interesting little piece of software. I will read up on that for some home use.

What I was trying to do was just a small one-off log zipping. The system already has a perl script that grabs everything and puts it where it goes. I just needed a small subset of those files zipped.

I eventually did it by modifying the line i had in there. To manually add the process name, and then I just had it make the zips in the base folder.

for i in 2011*; do zip -r processname1.$ $i ; done

That seemed to work out ok, I only had about 20 processes that this had to be run on. Thank you for your help!


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