Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a folder called img, this folder has many levels of sub-folders, all of which containing images. I am going to import them into an image server.

Normally images (or any files) can have the same name as long as they are in a different directory path or have a different extension. However, the image server I am importing them into requires all the image names to be unique (even if the extensions are different).

For example the images background.png and background.gif would not be allowed because even though they have different extensions they still have the same file name. Even if they are in separate sub-folders, they still need to be unique.

So I am wondering if I can do a recursive search in the img folder to find a list of files that have the same name (excluding extension).

Is there a command that can do this?

share|improve this question
This is much tougher than I thought initially. I want a one liner but most everything forces you into an inellegant solution of creating something exec calls. Tried for an hour. I can get it to work on Linx but not my AIX or HP boxes. –  ojblass Jun 13 '11 at 21:58
alright it performs like hell but it works –  ojblass Jun 13 '11 at 22:20
possible duplicate of How to find (and delete) duplicate files –  Eliah Kagan Jan 31 '13 at 13:06

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

FSlint Install fslint is a versatile duplicate finder that includes a function for finding duplicate names:


The FSlint package for Ubuntu emphasizes the graphical interface, but as is explained in the FSlint FAQ a command-line interface is available via the programs in /usr/share/fslint/fslint/. Use the --help option for documentation, e.g.:

$ /usr/share/fslint/fslint/fslint --help
File system lint.
A collection of utilities to find lint on a filesystem.
To get more info on each utility run 'util --help'.

findup -- find DUPlicate files
findnl -- find Name Lint (problems with filenames)
findu8 -- find filenames with invalid utf8 encoding
findbl -- find Bad Links (various problems with symlinks)
findsn -- find Same Name (problems with clashing names)
finded -- find Empty Directories
findid -- find files with dead user IDs
findns -- find Non Stripped executables
findrs -- find Redundant Whitespace in files
findtf -- find Temporary Files
findul -- find possibly Unused Libraries
zipdir -- Reclaim wasted space in ext2 directory entries
$ /usr/share/fslint/fslint/findsn --help
find (files) with duplicate or conflicting names.
Usage: findsn [-A -c -C] [[-r] [-f] paths(s) ...]

If no arguments are supplied the $PATH is searched for any redundant
or conflicting files.

-A reports all aliases (soft and hard links) to files.
If no path(s) specified then the $PATH is searched.

If only path(s) specified then they are checked for duplicate named
files. You can qualify this with -C to ignore case in this search.
Qualifying with -c is more restictive as only files (or directories)
in the same directory whose names differ only in case are reported.
I.E. -c will flag files & directories that will conflict if transfered
to a case insensitive file system. Note if -c or -C specified and
no path(s) specifed the current directory is assumed.

Example usage:

$ /usr/share/fslint/fslint/findsn /usr/share/icons/ > icons-with-duplicate-names.txt
$ head icons-with-duplicate-names.txt 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    683 2011-04-15 10:31 Humanity-Dark/AUTHORS
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    683 2011-04-15 10:31 Humanity/AUTHORS
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  17992 2011-04-15 10:31 Humanity-Dark/COPYING
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  17992 2011-04-15 10:31 Humanity/COPYING
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   4776 2011-03-29 08:57 Faenza/apps/16/DC++.xpm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   3816 2011-03-29 08:57 Faenza/apps/22/DC++.xpm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   4008 2011-03-29 08:57 Faenza/apps/24/DC++.xpm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   4456 2011-03-29 08:57 Faenza/apps/32/DC++.xpm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   7336 2011-03-29 08:57 Faenza/apps/48/DC++.xpm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    918 2011-03-29 09:03 Faenza/apps/16/Thunar.png
share|improve this answer
Thanks for the recommendation, do you know if FSlint can be used on the command line? –  JD Isaacks Jun 13 '11 at 19:35
@John I've updated the answer to explain FSlint's CLI. –  ændrük Jun 13 '11 at 19:53
Thanks this worked. Some of the results are in purple and some are in green. Do you know off hand what the different colors mean? –  JD Isaacks Jun 14 '11 at 13:13
@John It looks like FSlint is using ls -l to format its output. This question should explain what the colors mean. –  ændrük Jun 14 '11 at 16:46

I'm assuming you only need to see these "duplicates", then handle them manually. If so, this bash4 code should do what you want I think.

declare -A array=() dupes=()
while IFS= read -r -d '' file; do 
    base=${file##*/} base=${base%.*}
    if [[ ${array[$base]} ]]; then 
        dupes[$base]+=" $file"
done < <(find /the/dir -type f -print0)

for key in "${!dupes[@]}"; do 
    echo "$key: ${array[$key]}${dupes[$key]}"

See http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashGuide/Arrays#Associative_Arrays and/or the bash manual for help on the associative array syntax.

share|improve this answer
How do I execute a command like that in a terminal? Is this something I need to save to a file first and execute the file? –  JD Isaacks Jun 13 '11 at 19:35
@John Isaacks You can copy/paste it into the terminal or you can put it in a file and run it as a script. Either case will achieve the same. –  geirha Jun 13 '11 at 20:21

This is bname:

#  find for jpg/png/gif more files of same basename 
# echo "processing ($1) $2"
bname=$(basename "$1" .$2)
find -name "$bname.jpg" -or -name "$bname.png"

Make it executable:

chmod a+x bname 

Invoke it:

for ext in jpg png jpeg gif tiff; do find -name "*.$ext" -exec ./bname "{}" $ext ";"  ; done


  • It's straightforward and simple, therefore extensible.
  • Handles blanks, tabs, linebreaks and pagefeeds in filenames, afaik. (Assuming no such thing in the extension-name).


  • It finds always the file itself, and if it finds a.gif for a.jpg, it will find a.jpg for a.gif too. So for 10 files of same basename, it finds 100 matches in the end.
share|improve this answer
 find . -exec basename {} \; | sed 's/\(.*\)\..*/\1/' | sort | uniq -c | grep -v "^[ \t]*1 "

As the comment states this will find folders as well here is the command to restrict it to files

 find . -type f -exec basename {} \; | sed 's/\(.*\)\..*/\1/' | sort | uniq -c | grep -v "^[ \t]*1 "
share|improve this answer
This is the Linux way. However this also matches folders –  glebm Oct 16 '12 at 20:01
Updated answer to exclude directories. Thank you for your comment. –  ojblass Oct 13 at 12:28

Save this to a file named duplicates.py

#/usr/bin/env python

# Syntax: duplicates.py DIRECTORY

import os, sys

top = sys.argv[1]
d = {}

for root, dirs, files in os.walk(top, topdown=False):
    for name in files:
        fn = os.path.join(root, name)
        basename, extension = os.path.splitext(name)

        basename = basename.lower() # ignore case

        if d.has_key(basename):
            print d[basename]
            print fn
            d[basename] = fn

Then make the file executable:

chmod +x duplicates.py

Run in e.g. like this:

./duplicates.py ~/images

It should output pairs of files that have the same basename(1). Written in python, you should be able to modify it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.