Using UNIX Commands with Larger number of Files

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# 1  
Hammer & Screwdriver Using UNIX Commands with Larger number of Files

Hello Unix Gurus,
I am new to Unix so need some help on this.

I am using the following commands:

1) mv -f Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff] outputpath

2) cp Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff] outputpath

3) rm -rf somepath/*

4) Find Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff]

Now I get the following error with the Find command above :

/bin/ksh: /usr/bin/find: 0403-027 The parameter list is too long

This is happening because there are large number of files which the Find command has to process.

I am also thinking i may get the same type of error with other unix commands above.

So my question is How do i rewrite each of these commands to overcome this issue with large amount of files.

Any Help on this is Appreciated.


Last edited by Scrutinizer; 11-09-2012 at 05:41 PM.. Reason: code tags
# 2  
This can be avoided with a for loop. For example:
for file in Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff]
  cp "$file" outputpath

# 3  
Hi Scrutinizer ,
Thanks for your Reply.Actually is ther a way do rewrite each of the commands i mentioned without using a FOR LOOP.I use these commands in a SAS Program so i require to use them as a single line command.Is it possible to use FIND command with some options to rewrite each of the commands and also overcome the issue with large number of files.

# 4  
Single line? Like so?
for file in Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff]; do cp "$file" outputpath; done

# 5  
Originally Posted by Scrutinizer
This can be avoided with a for loop. For example:
for file in Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff]
  cp "$file" outputpath

Given the large number of files being copied, moved, ..., I would try the following first:
cd Inputpath;cp *.[Pp][Dd][Ff] ../outputpath;cd ..

Reducing the length of the filename arguments may be enough to avoid the {ARG_MAX} limits while keeping the number of invocations of cp (or the other utilities) to a minimum.

Last edited by Don Cragun; 11-09-2012 at 06:17 PM.. Reason: Converted to single-line command...
# 6  
Hi, yes that was my thought as well, but I figured I'd provide a solution that should work in any case...
# 7  
Actually, for find the solution is much simpler. Rather than using:
find Inputpath/*.[Pp][Dd][Ff] ...

find Inputpath -name '*.[Pp][Dd][Ff]' ...

Rooting a find search in a very long list of regular files (instead of in a list of a small number of directories) frequently defeats the purpose of using find in the first place.

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