What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



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!

Top Tags



Create subdirectory and move files into it

Terminal - Create subdirectory and move files into it
(ls; mkdir subdir; echo subdir) | xargs mv
2009-11-08 11:40:55
User: mechmind
Functions: echo mkdir xargs
Create subdirectory and move files into it

With this form you dont need to cut out target directory using grep/sed/etc.


There are 2 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

why not use the && instead of ; ?? it ll check if the previous command was successfull , if yes then execute the next one :

(ls && mkdir subdir && echo subdir) | xargs mv

Comment by eastwind 350 weeks and 2 days ago

FYI, you won't move all the files if xargs has to invoke mv more than once. Just a pitfall to be aware of. Neat command!

Comment by bwoodacre 350 weeks and 2 days ago

you could just:

mkdir subdir; mv * subdir

It will throw an error because you can't move subdir to subdir but will still work.

Comment by sharfah 350 weeks and 2 days ago

To handle filenames with spaces in, and allow for xargs invoking 'mv' more than once:

(ls -1 && mkdir "$1") | xargs -d'\n' mv -t "$1"
Comment by pysquared 350 weeks and 2 days ago

I really wouldn't use && for this. What happens if the mkdir command fails in this snippet:

(ls && mkdir subdir && echo subdir) | xargs mv

The output of ls alone will be piped to mv, which will try to move everything into whatever happens to be last in the list (possibly overwriting it).

Using semicolons means that the 'echo subdir' command still gets called, so mv will try to move into a non-existent subdirectory (which is much less dangerous).

Comment by stevelosh 349 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.