Following these two posts:

Move files to parent directory, prefixing file name with former subdirectory name

recursively add directory name to file name

I would like to do the same but with copying instead of moving. So simply, I have a directory containing subdirectories and subsubdirectories, where there are some files inside. I want to copy all the files to a another destination folder, but since some files have exact names, so I want to attach the name of the parent directories as a prefix to the filenames.

I am running on ubuntu 16.04

1 Answer 1



$ tree folder1
├── folder2
│   ├── folder3
│   │   ├── name1.csv
│   │   ├── name2.csv
│   │   └── name3.csv
│   ├── name1.csv
│   ├── name2.csv
│   └── name3.csv
├── name1.csv
├── name2.csv
└── name3.csv

2 directories, 9 files

then you could do something like this to replace each path separator (/) in the original with _ for example:

$ find folder1 -type f -exec bash -c '
    for f; do echo cp -n "$f" path/to/newdir/"${f//\//_}"; done
' bash {} +
cp folder1/folder2/folder3/name2.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_folder3_name2.csv
cp folder1/folder2/folder3/name3.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_folder3_name3.csv
cp folder1/folder2/folder3/name1.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_folder3_name1.csv
cp folder1/folder2/name2.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_name2.csv
cp folder1/folder2/name3.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_name3.csv
cp folder1/folder2/name1.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_folder2_name1.csv
cp folder1/name2.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_name2.csv
cp folder1/name3.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_name3.csv
cp folder1/name1.csv path/to/newdir/folder1_name1.csv

Note that this doesn't guarantee unique namings if the original file or folder names already contain the _ character (which is why I included the -n no-clobber switch - just in case). You are of course free to choose a different (or no) delimiter.

Remove the echo once you are satisfied that it is doing the right thing.

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