Grep command allows us to filter the content from the input which matches the pattern. Here we are going to use combination of three commands including grep, to copy / move the files recursively to another directory which matches our pattern.

So here i listed three commands we are going to use:
     1) ls – To list the files in certain location
     2) grep – To filter the output of  “ls” command to match our pattern
     3) xargs – To pass output of grep command as an argument (input) to copy command

Lets see the command in action:
 
ls '/home/john/test/'  | grep 'db_backup_*' | xargs cp -rfpv /home/john/old/.

Above we listed the files located in ‘/home/john/test’ then we used grep command to select only files which has “db_backup_”  in the file name. Next we copy those filtered files list by passing as an argument (input) to copy command (cp) using xargs.

 |  - This pipe (Vertical bar) is used to combine multiple commands to run one by one.

We have used some options in “cp” command, lets see what is it.

r – Recursive. Tells the command to copy files recursively
f – Force copy by removing the destination file if required.
p – Retain the same file privileges
v – Visualize the process (Each file displayed on screen when copied)

Like this you can copy multiple files having similar names to another directory recursively using grep command.



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