mv

Unix find command: How to move a group of files into the current directory

I just bought a bunch of MP3 music files from Amazon, and when I downloaded the zip file they provide onto my Mac, it was a bunch of files in a bunch of subdirectories; not really convenient to work with when you’re trying to import them into iTunes. So I used this Unix find command to move all of the music files from the subdirectories they were scattered in into the root directory that was created when I expanded the zip file:

cd Amazon-Music-Folder
find . -type f -exec mv {} . \;

If you ever need to either copy or move a bunch of files with a single command, I hope this example shows the correct find command syntax for your needs. (If you need to copy the files, use the cp command instead of the mv command.)

A Unix find and move command (find in subdirectories)

This is a dangerous Unix command, but if you want to move a bunch of files from their subdirectories into your current directory, this find and mv command works:

find . -type f -exec mv {} . \;

That command finds all files beneath the current directory, and moves them into the current directory. I just moved a bunch of files from their (iTunes) subdirectories into my current working directory, and that find and move command did the trick. (But again, it’s a dangerous command, be careful out there.)

Linux mv command man page

This page shows the contents of the Linux mv command man page. The Linux and Unix mv command is used to move and rename files and directories.

This mv command output was created on a CentOS Linux system. You can see this same mv command man page output by entering this command on your own Linux system:

Ruby “glob”: How to process each file in a directory that matches a certain pattern

Here's some sample Ruby source code that shows how to do something with every file in a directory, where you only work on filenames that match a pattern you're interested in. For example, in my case I'm only interested in processing files that end with the filename extension WMA, so this first snippet of Ruby code shows how to print out the name of each file in a directory with the WMA extension:

Error message: mv cannot unlink remove file, operation not permitted

I got this Unix/Linux error message today "mv: cannot unlink '/tmp/forms-1.2.1.jar': Operation not permitted" when trying to move (mv) the file forms-1.2.1.jar from the /tmp directory to another directory. The full error output looked like this:

Linux mv command examples

The Linux mv command lets you move one or more files or directories. Since it's very similar to the cp command, I'll move through this post quickly.

Basic Linux mv examples

To rename a file currently named "foo" to a new file named "bar" just type:

mv foo bar

Although it's called the Linux mv command, it's commonly used to rename files.

To move a file named "foo" to the /tmp directory type:

Linux tutorial, part 3 (ssh, cd, ls, cp, mv)

Logging in to a remote system

To login to that system I'll use a command named ssh, which stands for "secure shell". It's basically an encrypted login session to a remote system. To login to that remote system I'll type this command in my terminal window:

ssh al@foo.bar.com

(Of course everything after the ssh command there is made up. I don't have a login account on any systems named anything like that.)