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# 1  
Old 02-15-2012
Bug copying files with wildcards

Hello, I am attempting to copy a series of files using a wildcard into a new subdirectory. however, I am clearly doing something wrong as it is not working. I want to copy all files in the directory that start with the letters kl but have other letters after this initial two letters into another directory.

here is what I have tried so far. I admit that I am not strong in Unix


Code:
cp - r  /home/jgold/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage/kl*   /home/jgold/tmp
-bash: /bin/cp: Argument list too long

altix350:Wed Feb 15:jgold[5002] ~/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage > cp "kl*" /home/jgold/tmp
cp: cannot stat `kl*': No such file or directory

altix350:Wed Feb 15:jgold[5003] ~/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage > cp kl* /home/jgold/tmp
-bash: /bin/cp: Argument list too long

altix350:Wed Feb 15:jgold[5004] ~/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage > cp -r  kl* /home/jgold/tmp
-bash: /bin/cp: Argument list too long

altix350:Wed Feb 15:jgold[5005] ~/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage >
find . -type f -name "kl*" cp "kl*" /home/jgold/tmp;

Also once this is done I want an easy way to move these files from the remote unix server to my desktop.

Last edited by methyl; 02-15-2012 at 06:32 PM.. Reason: correct code tags an lay it out a bit
# 2  
Old 02-15-2012
hi,
there are many similar posts here, i.e. have a look at:
https://www.unix.com/unix-dummies-que...-long-ssh.html

see ya
fra
This User Gave Thanks to frappa For This Post:
# 3  
Old 02-15-2012
You didn't do anything wrong exactly, but there were just too many filenames to cram into one cp call. Handling that many filenames gets a bit more complicated. Too many arguments is too many arguments -- ls kl* or any other variations like that won't work either. You'll need to print a full listing with ls, filter what you want with grep, and read in a loop. Put them through a stream so we can read them one at a time in other words, instead of trying to cram them all into one line.

Code:
ls /home/jgold/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage/ |
grep "^kl" |
while read LINE
do
        echo cp -r /home/jgold/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage/"$LINE" /home/jgold/tmp
done

Notice how grep takes a different kind of expression than you'd do in the shell. It doesn't match the entire line, it can match part of the line anywhere, so we have to stick a ^ in the front to tell it "only look for kl at the beginning of the line". And we don't have to match the rest of it since knowing it has a 'kl' in front is good enough.

Then we read lines one by one and feed them into cp one by one. Remove the 'echo' once you've tested it and are sure it does what you want.
# 4  
Old 02-15-2012
This should be be more robust:
Code:
cd /home/jgold/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage/
find . -type f -name "kl*" -print | while read filename
do
       cp -p "${filename}" /home/jgold/tmp
done


Last edited by methyl; 02-15-2012 at 06:38 PM.. Reason: no cd!
This User Gave Thanks to methyl For This Post:
# 5  
Old 02-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by methyl
This should be be more robust:
Code:
/home/jgold/smwcv/error_infect/test/surfaces/threestage/
find . -type f -name "kl*" -print | while read filename
do
       cp -p "${filename}" /home/jgold/tmp
done

That will flatten any directories it finds! All files will end up dumped in one big folder.
This User Gave Thanks to Corona688 For This Post:
# 6  
Old 02-15-2012
@Corona688 I quote from post #1:
Quote:
I want to copy all files in the directory that start with the letters kl but have other letters after this initial two letters into another directory.
No mention of subdirectories.

(My reference to "more robust" was of course referring to the examples in post #1).

Quote:
I want to copy all files in the directory that start with the letters kl but have other letters after this initial two letters into another directory.
The more times I read this sentence the more ambiguous it becomes. Is it the filenames which start with "kl" or the directory names which start with "kl" I wonder?
I've gone for the files and Corona688 has gone for the directories.

Last edited by methyl; 02-15-2012 at 07:06 PM..
# 7  
Old 02-15-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by methyl
@Corona688 I quote from post #1:


No mention of subdirectories.
He used -r, which implied he needed it, meaning some had to be directories. He might have just put it on habitually.

Your command would recursively hunt down all files named 'kl*' even if it was nested 5-deep in the current folder, not just the current folder where he wanted it to look.
Quote:
I've gone for the files and Corona688 has gone for the directories.
My solution works for both...
 

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