I have a directory, Movies which contains many subdirectories, [MovieName]. Some of these [MovieName] subdirectories have a randomly named subdirectory with a VIDEO_TS subdirectory inside it. If I find VIDEO_TS, I'd like to move it to the [MovieName] parent of the parent directory and delete the current randomly named parent directory. If I don't find VIDEO_TS 2 layers down, I want to delete [MovieName]. To clarify...

  |-- ASDFJK
         |-- VIDEO_TS 
  |-- B7YEQ
         |-- [a few files - no VIDEO_TS] 

Since Argo has a VIDEO_TS sub-subdirectory, move it to Argo and delete ASDFJK. Since Birdcage doesn't have a VIDEO_TS, delete Birdcage. I've tried all sorts of things using find and -exec with {} but at best, I can only manage to move VIDEO_TS up one level (which leaves me a ton of cleanup still to do).

  • Your desired task, "move VIDEO_TS to parent dir && delete parent dir, unless VIDEO_TS doesn't exist && delete parent dir" is too complex a task for find with {}. Use find -exec to execute a bash script where this task is easier to express.
    – waltinator
    Jan 22, 2020 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


The following script should get the job done. Try it and when you are satisfied with the results, remove the comments # to do the actual job.

Back up your Movies directory before running the script on it. Please...

To create and use the script file, please follow these steps:

  1. Create and edit the script file in your home directory by running the following command in the terminal:

    nano ~/my_script.sh

  2. Copy and paste the following code into the editor changing /full/path/to/movies/ with the full path to your Movies directory:



for directory in $(find "$path" -maxdepth 3 -mindepth 3 -type d -name "VIDEO_TS")

        parent=$(dirname $(dirname "$directory"))

        parent2=$(dirname "$directory")

        echo "$directory" " Will be copied to " " $parent "
        echo "$parent2" " Will be deleted!"

#       cp -Rp "$directory" "$parent"

#       rm -rf "$parent2"


for directory in $(find "$path" -maxdepth 3 -mindepth 3 -type d ! -name "VIDEO_TS")

        parent=$(dirname $(dirname "$directory"))

        echo "$parent" " Will be deleted!"

#       rm -rf "$parent" 

  1. Save the script file and exit the editor by pressing Ctrl + X then press Y.

  2. Make the script file executable by running the following command in the terminal:

    chmod +x ~/my_script.sh

  3. Run the script by running the following command in the terminal:

    bash ~/my_script.sh


Best of luck

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