Running ubuntu 16.04

Update: I got past the error messages by double quoting the variables:

cp -ru "$line" "$destname"

But it's still not copying anything. After adding echo $? after the line above, I get 0.

Replacing cp with ls -l lists contents of the directories.

The code:

[ $# -eq 0 ] && { echo "Usage: $0 m/d/yyyy"; exit 1; }


find Documents -type f -newermt $1 > mybackup.log
awk 'BEGIN{FS=OFS="/"}{NF--; print}' mybackup.log | while read line 
cp -ru $line $destname

#rm mybackup.log
echo Done

Script output -- and the files aren't copied for lines without the errors below:

$ ./mybackup.sh 8/20/2018
cp: target 'Card/Documents' is not a directory
cp: target 'Lessons' is not a directory
cp: target 'Lessons' is not a directory
cp: target 'Letters' is not a directory
cp: target 'Asia' is not a directory
cp: target 'Procedures' is not a directory

Inputs: contents of mybackup.log (full path with file name):

Documents/Phone/Phone Main Memory Card/Documents/misc.doc
Documents/Lew/PFinc/Bills N Balances.ods
Documents/Lew/Trading/Market Review.odt
Documents/Lew/Trading/Trade Tools.ods
Documents/Lew/Trading/Studies & Lessons/Summary Technical Analysis.odt
Documents/Lew/Trading/Studies & Lessons/Paper calendars and diagonals.odt
Documents/Lew/Trading/Paper Trades.ods
Documents/Lew/General/Essays & Letters/0 RFR.odt
Documents/Lew/General/Long Fist et al Asia/Long Tai Chi.odt
Documents/Lew/General/Technology/Backup Procedures/find files since X for manual backup.png
Documents/Kids/Carey/Carey August 2018.odt
Documents/Kids/Renee/birth certif and social Stella.pdf
Documents/Kids/Renee/Noah/Noah Confucius tenets.odt

awk output (source dir only, no trailing "/"; destination drive is Western Digital mybook NAS):

/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Phone/Phone Main Memory Card/Documents
/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Lew/Trading/Studies & Lessons
/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Lew/Trading/Studies & Lessons
/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Lew/General/Essays & Letters
/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Lew/General/Long Fist et al Asia
/media/WD_NAS_LEW/grsync/Documents/Lew/General/Technology/Backup Procedures

It seems to be changing the field delimiter. Do I need to take out spaces in dir names, or there a way to leave them?

  • 1
    I strongly suggest using rsync for backup – qwr Aug 26 '18 at 2:10
  • My understanding is that grsync is a gui wrapper around rsync. It worked for a while but doesn't any more. So I thought I'd try the manual route. – Lew Aug 26 '18 at 2:19
  • 5
    I've never used grsync but rsync has worked flawlessly for me. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 26 '18 at 2:26
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix the exclude rules and relative path are confusing for me but otherwise it works great (and has a progress bar) – qwr Aug 26 '18 at 2:30
  • 2
    @qwr I have a script that excludes virtual file systems / system temporary directories here: askubuntu.com/questions/1028604/… – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 26 '18 at 2:32

If you have a filename with a space in it, most commands interpret it as two file names. For example, if you have a file called "my file" and you attempt to copy it to /tmp as follows:

cp my file /tmp

the cp command will look for two files (Called my and file -- if they dont exist it will fail).

To overcome this, put quotes round the file name:

cp "my file" /tmp

you need to do the same in your script

cp -ru "$line" "$destname"

(bash will still expand variable names inside double quotes, but not single quotes)

I haven't filly checked your script -- there may be other places where you need to quote variable names.

btw -- there are lots of comments about using rsync. Once you get used to it its a much nicer way of backing up!

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