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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

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Search and replace in multiple files and save them with the same names - quickly and effectively!

Terminal - Search and replace in multiple files and save them with the same names - quickly and effectively!
for files in $(ls -A directory_name); do sed 's/search/replaced/g' $files > $files.new && mv $files.new $files; done;
2009-05-07 20:13:07
User: bassu
Functions: ls mv sed
Search and replace in multiple files and save them with the same names - quickly and effectively!

Yeah, there are many ways to do that.

Doing with sed by using a for loop is my favourite, because these are two basic things in all *nix environments. Sed by default does not allow to save the output in the same files so we'll use mv to do that in batch along with the sed.

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

why not use sed -i ?

for files in $(ls -A directory_name); do sed -i 's/search/replaced/g' $files; done;

Comment by thebillywayne 467 weeks and 3 days ago

Good catch thebillywayne. Thanks.

Comment by bassu 467 weeks and 3 days ago

You can also trigger sed through 'find's exec function:

find . -name "*.php" -exec sed -i 's/old/new/g' {} \;

Comment by birnam 467 weeks and 3 days ago

there's a command called replace that does this:

replace 'word' 'another word' -- *

From the man page:


replace - a string-replacement utility


replace arguments


The replace utility program changes strings in place in files or on the

standard input.

Invoke replace in one of the following ways:

replace from to [from to] ... -- file [file] ... replace from to [from to] ... < file
Comment by bunedoggle 467 weeks and 2 days ago

the 'replace' program that bunedoggle mentioned is part of the mysql-server-5.0 package, at least on my debian/ubuntu system.

Comment by bwoodacre 467 weeks ago

"sed -i" isn't available on every UNIX system, as it's a GNU extension only.

Comment by realist 452 weeks and 4 days ago

Your point of view

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