Linux Basic Commands for Files and Directories
Essential commands to manipulate files and directories on Linux.
1. Create VS Delete
# Create a file touch test.txt mkdir -p ./testfolder/ && touch ./testfolder/test2.txt # Delete a file rm ./testfolder/test2.txt # Create a directory mkdir testfolder2 mkdir ./testfolder3 mkdir /testfolder2 #Permission denied # Delete a directory rmdir ./testfolder2 #Error, if directory is not empty rm -rf ./testfolder3 # recursively, force
2. Copy VS Move
# Copy file cp file.txt testfolder/file0.txt cp file.txt file.txt # A and B are identical (not copied). # Copy a directory under another directory cp -r testfolder testfolder2 # Move files mv file1.copy.txt file2.copy.txt # RENAME
3. Link Files and Directories
# link directory ln ./originalfolder ./anotherfolder/somenamehere # ERRPR, should from "/" root folder ln /homedir/originalfolder /homedir/anotherfolder/somenamehere
4. Read and Concatenate files
# Read cat testfolder/file0.txt # Create cat > testfolder/file4.txt # Ctrl + c to stop # Concatenate cat testfolder/file0.txt testfolder/file3.txt # Read from the first matching iterm more +/test2 testfolder/file0.txt
5. Archive VS Extract
tar: Creating an archive file which contains many other files.
the switches are as follows:
-c = create
-v = verbose
-f = files
-t = list contents of an archive
-x = extract
-r = apppend
# Archive some files or directory to a tar file tar -cvf testname.tar ./tutorials # Extract files from a tar file tar -xvf somename.tar # View contents of a tar file tar -tzf tutorials-master.zip.gz # Append files to a tar file tar -rvf somename.tar ./foldername/filename.txt # Remove ORIGIN FILES after adding to a tar file tar --remove-files -cvf tarfile.tar ./originfolder # Only append files only if they are newer tar -uvf somename.tar ./foldername/filename.txt # Only extract files that are newer than existing files tar --keep-newer-files -xvf tarfilename.tar
# find files in current dir, name start with 'my' find . -name 'my*' # find files in current dir, name start with 'my' and show accesses find . -name 'my*' -ls # find files in current dir, type is file, updated within 10 mins find . -type f -mmin -10
The most common usage of xargs is to use it with the find command. This uses find to search for files or directories and then uses xargs to operate on the results. Typical examples of this are
- removing files,
- changing the ownership of files or
- moving files.
-t: prints each command
-p: prints the command to be executed and prompt the user to run it.
echo 'how are you' | xargs mkdir ls -alh drwxr-xr-x 5 moss staff 160B 6 Dec 20:48 . drwxr-xr-x 7 moss staff 224B 6 Dec 20:47 .. drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 are drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 how drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 you # The -t option prints each command, it's helpful when debugging echo 'how are you' | xargs -t rm ls -alh drwxr-xr-x 5 moss staff 160B 6 Dec 20:48 . drwxr-xr-x 7 moss staff 224B 6 Dec 20:47 .. drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 are drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 how drwxr-xr-x 2 moss staff 64B 6 Dec 20:48 you # files older than two weeks in the temp folder are found and then remove them \$ find /tmp -mtime +14 | xargs -t rm
Estimating file space usage
# view a disk usage summary of a directory du ~/projects # view the file size of a directory du -sh ~/projects # sort by file or folder size, -n (numeric), -r (reverse) du ~/projects | sort -n -r | less # find the largest files on a file system du -h . | sort -n -r | head -n 10 # find the largest folders on a file system du -a / | sort -n -r | head -n 10
How to remove all files that were created n minutes ago in linux
find . -type f -cmin -1 find . -type f -cmin -1 -delete
Last update: Dec 2019