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Count number of Line for all the files in a directory recursively

Terminal - Count number of Line for all the files in a directory recursively
for file in `find . -type f`; do cat $file; done | wc -l
2009-03-18 06:50:10
User: tejparkash
Functions: cat file wc
Count number of Line for all the files in a directory recursively


There are 8 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

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What others think

This works. In a particular directory containing a source tree this takes 10 seconds for me after repeated runs.

Another way to do it without the bash for loop uses the -exec argument of find to invoke cat one for each file, and takes ~8 seconds:

find . -type f -exec cat {} \; | wc -l

using xargs makes the command complete in 1 second:

find . -type f | xargs cat | wc -l

Anytime you find yourself using a loop with find, there's a possibility that xargs could be helpful and a lot faster.

Comment by bwoodacre 375 weeks and 6 days ago

awesome, xargs version is definitely faster and lot better


Comment by tejparkash 375 weeks and 6 days ago

no need to use cat, IMHO. below should suffice:

find . -type f | xargs wc -l
Comment by alperyilmaz 375 weeks and 6 days ago

Sorry alperyilmaz, but your command doesn't work. It only tells you how many files there are, not how many lines are in them.

I like bwoodacre's first command, but I would make a slight change. I would do it as

find . -type f -exec cat {} + | wc -l

You see, if you use the \;, that would be the same as doing

(cat file1; cat file2; cat file3 ... ) | wc -l

but with the +, it's the same as doing

cat file1 file2 file3 ... | wc -l

That gets more to the real point of cat (concatenate, not print).

Comment by goodevilgenius 375 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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