Linux/UNIX/OS X: How to find and combine multiple files

Apr 16 2010

This explains how to use a UNIX-like command line (including Linux and OS X) and the find command to search through a subdirectory and find all of the files with a certain extension, and then combine those all into one file. Surprisingly, this isn't a difficult task. It can be accomplished with one command on the command line:

$ find ./src -name '*.txt' -exec cat '{}' \; > test.txt

The above looks through everything in the ./src directory (including all subdirectories) for any files with the .txt extension. Each file it finds, it adds to test.txt. So at the end of the command's run, all of the text files will be combined together into text.txt. You can use this strategy to easily combine lots of files into one.

Using find, it's easy to customize the command above to do all kinds of things with files. I gave a few examples in an earlier post about the UNIX find command. <!--break-->