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Linux bash script copy folders and files from list


 In Linux special characters such as "#", "-" and other special characters cannot be access directly either by manual copy or via script.
For example this path below it has the sharp "#" key:

/usr/dfiles/$line/Tasks/#msgs/

cp "/usr/dfiles/$line/Tasks/#msgs/*.eml" "/mnt/NAS/Tasks1/line/"

Even though the path is enclosed by quotation marks, Linux system will show "No such file or directory".

Since the system is unable to find the "#msgs" directory.

As a work around in this issue is to append "--" double dash before the cp command and everything will work fine.

So, this command below will work.

cp  -- "/usr/dfiles/$line/Tasks/#msgs/*.eml" "/mnt/NAS/Tasks1/line/"

Copying one folder is quite practical to do it by hand rather by script.

But if you are copying hundreds or thousands of folders, doing it manually is quite painful.

To copy hundreds or thousands of folders to another folder the practical way, is to do it the lazy way.
Scripting is a lazy task; you let the system do it for you. Lazy but it is a smart and a powerful way of doing things.

Script below will read the list of folders from "filename.txt" and the actual folder name will be replaced on the variable "$line".

Here's the script below, try it first via test folders before rolling out to production.

Anyway, since the script will just copy files it won't do any harm. But of course, it will fill up space.

#====================================

#!/bin/bash

while IFS='' read -r line || [[ -n "$line" ]]; do

cp -- "/usr/dfiles/$line/Tasks/#msgs/*.eml" "/mnt/NAS/Tasks1/$line/"

done < "$1"

#====================================

Make the script executable by chmod command.

chmod +x xx.sh

Syntax to run the script:

Script plus the filename.txt

Filename.txt contains the list of folder where the files will be copied.

./xx.sh filename.txt


You can append -v to cp to show what's going on or what files are being copied.

cp -v -- "/usr/dfiles/$line/Tasks/#msgs/*.eml" "/mnt/NAS/Tasks1/$line/"


Cheers..till next time.. Enjoy Linux..

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