Friday, February 29, 2008

Useful Scripts, Part 2: Linux "file sorter" script

The following Linux-based script (which you can download here) is also one I find myself using on occasion. I've made versions of it that run in just about every OS I've used at one time or another. It's a script that takes a large directory full of files, creates 37 subdirectories (A-Z, 0-9 and "other") and moves all the files in the folder it is run into their lettered folder according to their first character.

This is great when you have a large folder full of files that takes forever to "ls" or access over a network or a folder that is unmanageable for quickly finding particular files in a GUI. It's case-insensitive (I'm sorry, but DOS got this bit right, case-sensitivity can be a real hindrance at times, no matter how careful and experienced you are) so "Afile" and "anotherfile" both get put into the a/ folder.

I've used this on emulator rom folders when they got too many files in them, I've used it (or a Windows-"port" of this script) in user-profile folders on servers to help narrow the users down a bit and even move portions of them to a different storage medium in a logical manner (it's better to move A-L to another drive than it is to move the first 1000 users, from a "I'm only human" point of view). I've used it in archives of zip downloads, photographs, instruction manuals, all sorts. I hope someone else finds it useful.

mkdir other
for LETTER in a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
mkdir $LETTER
UCASEFILESPEC=`echo $LETTER | tr a-z A-Z`*
for NUMBER in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
mkdir $NUMBER
mv ./* ./other/

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