Combining FIND and -exec CP {} comands to change files w/in subdirectories


Hello all,

First time posting here…

I am attempting to use the following code syntax to accomplish a simple task of locating a file ‘index123.html’ in multiple subdirectories and replacing it with a copy of a file in the current directory with the same name and documenting the completed task using an output.txt file to be placed in my /home/user/Documents/txt/ as a file named ‘outputofcp.txt’:


find -name index123.html -exec cp {} index123.html + > /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt


find: missing argument to ‘-exec’


What am I missing? Is this the best syntax to accomplish the task as stated above? Are there alternatives that would produce more effective results?


Is there a way to accomplish this task and integrate the actions and results directly into a GIT repository command of git add, git submit or the like?

What might that command syntax look like?

Thanks in advance to all who help in response!!!



Welcome to our forum.

In order to implement all your requirements, the easiest way would be to implement a simple bash for loop. Something like:

for i in $(find . -name index123.html); do cp -v /tmp/index123.html $i >> /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt; git add $i; done

The above command will find all index123.html files in a current working directory recursively and replace them with a file located in /tmp/index123.html. Write a simple documentation file /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt and git add all files in question. Depending whether you want to git push all files separately or one by one you can either add your git command inside a for loop by including another “;” or you can add another “;” after a done statement. However, the command is quite long so you better write some bash script such as:


for i in $(find . -name index123.html); do
        cp -v /tmp/index123.html $i >>  /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt
        git add $i
        # alternatively add your git push command here to submit files one by one

# push to git repo
git commit -m "message"
git push -u origin master

here is a corrected version of your find command:

find -name index123.html -exec cp -v index123.html {} \; >> /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt

I hope you find my answer useful!



Thank you Lubos!!!

I used the corrected code syntax of:

find -name index123.html -exec cp -v index123.html {} ; >> /home/administrator/Documents/txt/outputofcp.txt

It worked just as I desired. The more complex syntax was definitely worth seeing and I will keep it as reference for future attempts. I did not attempt the git commit at this time but did find that the changed files were staged with the syntax above and I simply added the comment as I reviewed the list prior to commit.

Again, Thank you for your help in correcting my code syntax as well as offering the additional options.