Linux – How to use xargs to copy files that have spaces and quotes in their names

command-linelinuxmacosunixxargs

I'm trying to copy a bunch of files below a directory and a number of the files have spaces and single-quotes in their names. When I try to string together find and grep with xargs, I get the following error:

find .|grep "FooBar"|xargs -I{} cp "{}" ~/foo/bar
xargs: unterminated quote

Any suggestions for a more robust usage of xargs?

This is on Mac OS X 10.5.3 (Leopard) with BSD xargs.

Best Solution

You can combine all of that into a single find command:

find . -iname "*foobar*" -exec cp -- "{}" ~/foo/bar \;

This will handle filenames and directories with spaces in them. You can use -name to get case-sensitive results.

Note: The -- flag passed to cp prevents it from processing files starting with - as options.