[svlug] Working with spaces in shell scripts

Fabrizio Bertocci fabriziobertocci at gmail.com
Tue Dec 14 15:48:13 PST 2004

Never give up ...
Usually if you enclose in double quotes (") the variable that contains
the directory name, it works...
   foo="Monkey Joe"
   rm "$foo/abc.txt"

Unfortunately the following command won't work:
   for i in `find /my_root -type f`; do ...
because there's no way to distinguish between a space in the directory
name and the separator between two files.

In this case you can use the 'find' command with the -exec option: the
following command removes all the files ending with '.txt' from
/my_root directory and all the sub-dirs, including directories that
contains spaces:
   find /my_root -type f -name "*.txt" -exec rm -f {} \;


On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 15:15:15 -0800, Nathan <nathank at netflip.com> wrote:
> I want to remove the some files from inside a bunch of directories with
> spaces in the names. But when my script hits a directory with a space in
> its name the script will treat it as two separate directories (ie
> "Monkey Joe" becomes "Monkey" and "Joe"). Can this even be done with a
> shell script? Should I break down and use perl?
> Thanks,
> Nathan
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