Bash script for searching directory and moving files to a new directory, deleting any copies


I have a 2TB hard drive full of backed up data, including hundreds of movies, most of which have been copied several times due to sequential back-ups of the same HD. The hard drive is organized as a list of back-up folders, and every back-up contains a movies folder that has all the movies that were on my laptop HD at the time of the back-up.

I'd like to create a new movies folder and move all movies from every "movies" subfolder into the new one, making sure not to move the same movie twice. How can I go about this if I want to do everything via Bash?


Assuming that each copy of a movie in various folders has the same name and all have the same extension, let's say .divx, you can use find to find them and copy them to a different folder and then delete the old folders.

find / -iname "*.divx" -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -I '{}' mv "{}" /path/to/new_folder/

Or you can loop through all the files and copy them to new_folder only if they are not already present. If already present, delete other copies. Something like this:

for file in $(find . -iname "*.divx" -type f) do filename=$(basename ${file}) if [ ! -f ./movie/${filename} ]; then mv ${file} ./movie/${filename} else rm ${file} fi done


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