Search for a single file and go to it

cd $(dirname $(find ~ -name emails.txt))
This command looks for a single file named emails.txt which is located somewhere in my home directory and cd to that directory. This command is especially helpful when the file is burried deep in the directory structure. I tested it against the bash shells in Xubuntu 8.10 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6

By: haivu
2009-05-01 21:26:58

What Others Think

Not that it's a deal breaker, but this command messes up if there is multiple files with the same name in separate directories: dirname: extra operand `/home/user/docs/emails.txt' Adding "|head -1" after 'emails.txt' helps but you don't necessarily know which directory you're going to end up in. cd $(dirname $(find ~ -name emails.txt|head -1))
hdilemma · 656 weeks and 2 days ago
you could scope out the directory list before cd'ing with something like this: find ~ -name emails.txt -exec dirname {} \; | sort | uniq the trailing sort|uniq combo just ensures any directory name returned is only displayed once.
bwoodacre · 656 weeks and 2 days ago
@bwoodacre: nice.
sudopeople · 656 weeks and 2 days ago
The find will quit after the first file it finds, rather than piping to head -1. cd $(find ~ -name emails.txt -exec dirname {} \; -quit)
decasm · 655 weeks and 4 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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