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2011-03-12 - Confoo 2011 presentation
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Commands using xargs from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using xargs - 608 results
cat files.txt | xargs tar -cv | tar -x -c $DIR/
2009-08-06 22:55:21
User: lingo
Functions: cat tar xargs

If you want certain files out of a directory hierarchy, this will copy just the listed files, but will create the directory hierarchy in the new location ($DIR/)

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -P 4 -n 40 grep -i foobar
2009-08-05 23:18:44
User: ketil
Functions: find grep xargs

xargs -P N spawns up to N worker processes. -n 40 means each grep command gets up to 40 file names each on the command line.

find . -name "*.gz" | xargs -n 1 -I {} bash -c "gunzip -c {} | sort | gzip -c --best > {}.new ; rm {} ; mv {}.new {}"
2009-08-05 14:16:15
User: kennethjor
Functions: bash find xargs

I used this because I needed to sort the content of a bunch of gzipped log files. Replace sort with something else, or simply remove sort to just rezip everything

ifconfig | grep "0xffffffff" | awk '{ print $2 }' | xargs -n 1 ifconfig em0 delete
2009-08-04 05:18:36
User: vwal
Functions: awk grep ifconfig xargs

The example command deletes all aliases for network interface 'em0' assuming that the aliases have netmask of and the master IP has some other netmask (such as See here -> http://my.galagzee.com/2009/07/22/deleting-all-network-interface-aliases/ for more on the rationale of this command.

curl -s http://isc.sans.org/sources.html|grep "ipinfo.html"|awk -F"ip=" {'print $2'}|awk -F"\"" {'print $1'}|xargs -n1 sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -j DROP -d > 2&>1
find . -maxdepth 2 -name "*somepattern" -print0 | xargs -0 -I "{}" echo mv "{}" /destination/path
2009-08-01 01:55:47
User: jonasrullo
Functions: echo find mv xargs

Only tested on Linux Ubunty Hardy. Works when file names have spaces. The "-maxdepth 2" limits the find search to the current directory and the next one deeper in this example. This was faster on my system because find was searching every directory before the current directory without the -maxdepth option. Almost as fast as locate when used as above. Must use double quotes around pattern to handle spaces in file names. -print0 is used in combination with xargs -0. Those are zeros not "O"s. For xargs, -I is used to replace the following "{}" with the incoming file-list items from find. Echo just prints to the command line what is happening with mv. mv needs "{}" again so it knows what you are moving from. Then end with the move destination. Some other versions may only require one "{}" in the move command and not after the -I, however this is what worked for me on Ubuntu 8.04. Some like to use -type f in the find command to limit the type.

ls -pt1 | sed '/.*\//d' | sed 1d | xargs rm
2009-07-29 13:59:58
User: patko
Functions: ls sed xargs

Useful for deleting old unused log files.

ls -t1 | head -n1 | xargs tail -f
svn ls -R | egrep -v -e "\/$" | xargs svn blame | awk '{print $2}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -r
2009-07-29 02:10:45
User: askedrelic
Functions: awk egrep ls sort uniq xargs
Tags: svn count

I'm working in a group project currently and annoyed at the lack of output by my teammates. Wanting hard metrics of how awesome I am and how awesome they aren't, I wrote this command up.

It will print a full repository listing of all files, remove the directories which confuse blame, run svn blame on each individual file, and tally the resulting line counts. It seems quite slow, depending on your repository location, because blame must hit the server for each individual file. You can remove the -R on the first part to print out the tallies for just the current directory.

find -name '*oldname*' -print0 | xargs -0 rename 's/oldname/newname/'
2009-07-27 00:44:06
Functions: find rename xargs

This is better than doing a "for `find ...`; do ...; done", if any of the returned filenames have a space in them, it gets mangled. This should be able to handle any files.

Of course, this only works if you have rename installed on your system, so it's not a very portable command.

ls -drt /var/log/* | tail -n5 | xargs sudo tail -n0 -f
2009-07-22 14:44:41
User: kanaka
Functions: ls sudo tail xargs
Tags: bash tail log watch

This command finds the 5 (-n5) most frequently updated logs in /var/log, and then does a multifile tail follow of those log files.

Alternately, you can do this to follow a specific list of log files:

sudo tail -n0 -f /var/log/{messages,secure,cron,cups/error_log}

find / | xargs ls -l | tr -s ' ' | cut -d ' ' -f 1,3,4,9
ps -u $USER |grep $1 | awk '{ print $1}'| xargs kill
2009-07-20 10:06:32
User: buffer
Functions: awk grep ps xargs

Well this can come handy , when you don't feel like playing with pid rather if you know

the process name say "firefox",it would kill it.The script given below would kill the process with its name given as first parameter , though not robust enough to notify that process doesn't exist , well if you know what you are doing that's wouldn't be a problem.:)





ps -u $USER |grep $1 | awk '{ print $1}'| xargs kill


git ls-files -z --deleted | xargs -0 git rm
2009-07-14 08:29:38
User: blindgaenger
Functions: xargs
Tags: git

I've used technicalpickles command a lot, but this one handles whitespaces in filenames. I'm sure you want to create an alias for it :)

find . -name '*.html' -print0| xargs -0 -L1 cat |sed "s/[\"\<\>' \t\(\);]/\n/g" |grep "http://" |sort -u
2009-07-14 07:00:15
User: jamespitt
Functions: cat find grep sed sort xargs

Just a handy way to get all the unique links from inside all the html files inside a directory. Can be handy on scripts etc.

/originalInstall/gem list | tr -d '(),' | xargs -L 1 sudo ./gemInst.sh
2009-07-09 21:46:06
User: snakerdlk
Functions: sudo tr xargs
Tags: bash Linux



for i in $@; do

if [ "$1" != "$i" ]


echo /newInstall/gem install $1 -v=\"$i\"

/newInstall/gem install $1 -v="$i"

if [ "$?" != "0" ]


echo -e "\n\nGEM INSTALL ERROR: $1\n\n"

echo "$1" > gemInst.err




ls *tgz | xargs -n1 tar xzf
sudo port installed | grep -v 'active\|The' | xargs sudo port uninstall
find . -not \( -name .svn -prune \) -type f -print0 | xargs --null grep <searchTerm>
2009-07-08 20:08:05
User: qazwart
Functions: find grep xargs
Tags: find xargs grep

By putting the "-not \( -name .svn -prune \)" in the very front of the "find" command, you eliminate the .svn directories in your find command itself. No need to grep them out.

You can even create an alias for this command:

alias svn_find="find . -not \( -name .svn -prune \)"

Now you can do things like

svn_find -mtime -3
unzip -lt foo.zip | grep testing | awk '{print $2}' | xargs rm -r
tar -tf <file.tar.gz> | xargs rm -r
S=`pidof skype`;grep heap /proc/$S/maps|cut -f1 -d' '|awk -F- '{print "0x" $1 " 0x" $2}'|xargs echo "du me t ">l;gdb -batch -p $S -x l>/dev/null 2>&1;strings t|grep \(smirk|head -n1
2009-06-26 20:03:17
User: alvieboy
Functions: awk cut echo grep head xargs

Skype has an internal regex which depicts the emoticons it supports. However you cannot simply search the binary file for it. This small 181 character line will do just that, provided skype is running. And of course, only works in linux.

svn status | grep '!' | sed 's/!/ /' | xargs svn del --force
dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d' | xargs sudo apt-get -y purge
2009-06-19 10:11:00
User: plasticdoc
Functions: sed sudo xargs

will purge:

only installed apps: /^ii/!d

avoiding current kernel stuff: /'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d

using app names: s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/

avoiding stuff without a version number: /[0-9]/!d

cut -d: -f1 /etc/passwd | grep -vE "#" | xargs -i{} crontab -u {} -l
2009-06-18 16:49:52
User: hoberion
Functions: crontab cut grep xargs

additionally use "find /etc/cron*" for cronscripts