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Old 02-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Command Line Help: Bulk Moving from Sub-directories to directories


I was struggling to find a Linux command to do some pre-processing of data and was wondering if anyone can help me with that. Here is the situation I have:

There is a hierarchy of directories and sub-directories as follows:
>> I have a Directory with 78 sub-directories.
>> Each Sub-directory holds a file (along with many other files) with *.tab extension.
>> I want to collect all the *.tab files in one location.
>> Later, I want to append all the *.tab files data to one file called MasterTabFile.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Old 02-23-2016, 07:41 PM   #2
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Hi & Welcome to Linux Questions.

Before you move all of those files you should consider performing a back up.

Take a look at this:
Old 02-23-2016, 09:22 PM   #3
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I guess I'd make a lousy teacher because I don't know how to direct you toward working this out yourself, but please do study the manpages for find and mv to see why this works:
cd /path/to/top/directory
find . -mindepth 2 -type f -name "*.tab" -exec mv --no-clobber --target-directory="$Top" {} +
With the "--no-clobber" it should be safe against losing anything, but it would still be wise to back up that wole tree in a tar archive first.

And yes, I know that directing newcomers to study the find manpage is really dropping them into the deep end of the pool.

Last edited by rknichols; 02-23-2016 at 09:25 PM. Reason: add: And yes, ...
Old 02-24-2016, 05:11 AM   #4
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Following on from rknichols, because 'find' is such a useful cmd, there are millions of examples on the net.
As above, backups first, then create some temp dirs/files and play with find until you get it.


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