Relocate a file or directory, but keep it accessible on the old location throug a simlink.

mv $1 $2 && ln -s $2/$(basename $1) $(dirname $1)
Used for moving stuff around on a fileserver

By: svg
2009-05-25 08:54:36

What Others Think

sweet. i've made it a function in all my .bash_profiles. function lmv(){ [ -e $1 -a -e $2 ] && mv $1 $2 && ln -s $2/$(basename $1) $(dirname $1); }
thebillywayne · 621 weeks ago
It only works, if $2 is a directory, though.
jxy · 621 weeks ago
Also does not play nice with files that have spaces or meta-characters in the names.
TheMightyBuzzard · 621 weeks ago
Always _quote_ the variables!
jxy · 620 weeks and 6 days ago
from AlvinaSimpson over on lmv() { [ -e "$1" -a -e "$2" ] && mv "$1" "$2" && ln -s "$2"/"$(basename "$1")" "$(dirname "$1")"; } Me, I'd add one more bit and say go from [ -e "$1" -a -e "$2" ] to [ -e "$1" -a -d "$2" ] and from mv "$1" "$2" to mv "$1" "$2"/ That should take care of any accidental file overwrites from trying to use wildcards with this command as it requires $2 be a directory and appends a trailing / so we don't accidentally try to overwrite the directory $2
TheMightyBuzzard · 620 weeks and 6 days ago
By default, you shouldn't be trying to symlink when you do this; you only need to use symlinks when you're going from one physical drive to another. The files that we see in the filesystem are pointers to the actual data on the drive. By creating a hard link, we have two real pointers to the same data; if one is removed, the other exists still, and the data is still "found" by the filesystem. If the original hardlink disappears but the symlink still exists, the symlink won't work. When trying to do a "safe move" using links, hard links is what you should use.
adamskinner · 620 weeks and 5 days ago
great suggestions for improving the function! i love this place!
thebillywayne · 620 weeks and 5 days ago
Any recommendations to make this usable on directories with spaces or special characters? I want to use it to relocate bittorrent files regularly to another disk and they rarely have proper filenames. by recommendations I mean a simpler way than writing/stealing code to escape all the special characters. I'm lazy and slow!
awoodby · 618 weeks and 3 days ago
lmv(){for a in ${@:1:$(expr $#-1)};do [ -e "$a" -a -e "${@:$#:1}" ] && mv "$a";"${@:$#:1}" && ln -s "${@:$#:1}"/"$(basename "$a")";"$(dirname "$a")";done} for multiple folders (e.g. lmv files/* newfolder would move file/* to newfolder while symlinking them)
matthewbauer · 591 weeks and 2 days ago
lmv(){for a in ${@:1:$(expr $#-1)};do [ -e "$a" -a -e "${@:$#}" ] && mv "$a";"${@:$#}" && ln -s "${@:$#}"/"$(basename "$a")";"$(dirname "$a")";done}
matthewbauer · 591 weeks and 2 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?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. 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.

Share Your Commands

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.


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: