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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
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find which of the zip files contains the file you're searching for

Terminal - find which of the zip files contains the file you're searching for
find . -iname '*.zip' | while read file; do unzip -l "$file" | grep -q [internal file name] && echo $file; done
2012-03-23 18:08:35
User: ricardofunke
Functions: echo file find grep read
find which of the zip files contains the file you're searching for

This command find which of your zip (or jar) files (when you have lots of them) contains a file you're searching for. It's useful when you have a lot of zip (or jar) files and need to know in which of them the file is archived.

It's most common with .jar files when you have to know which of the .jar files contains the java class you need.

To find in jar files, you must change "zip" to "jar" in the "find" command. The [internal file name] must be changed to the file name you're searching that is archived into one of the zip/jar files.

Before run this command you must step into the directory that contains the zip or jar files.


There are 5 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think


First, grep has a quiet option (-q) so you don't need the >& /dev/null

Next, if you're doing an "if something then something" you can simplify it to a single test and use &&

for f in $(find . -name "*.zip"); do unzip -l $f | grep -q [file name] && echo $f; done

If grep finds a match it returns true and the "echo $f" is executed.

If any of the zip files have spaces in their names this command (and yours will fail).

Comment by flatcap 190 weeks and 5 days ago

So, i think the command above should meet:

for f in "$(find . -name '*.zip')"; do unzip -l $f | grep -q [file name] && echo $f; done


Comment by ricardofunke 190 weeks and 4 days ago

I've changed the command to user "while/read" instead of "for" to fix the problem with files with spaces.

Comment by ricardofunke 190 weeks and 1 day ago

Your point of view

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