cp/mv/etc : argument list too long ... I am sick of this

user user at dhp.com
Mon Dec 5 14:56:29 PST 2005

Ok, so I have some big directories with lots of files.  If I do mv or cp,
it always refuses, telling me:

cp: argument list too long

so, no problem ... I get creative with things like this:

for f in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
X Y Z ; do cp $f* /some/dir ; done

lame, but it works.


but now I have some dirs that the above does not even work on.  One of the
numbers or one of the letters has too many files.

So I am sick of being childish and hacking up lame for loops just to copy
files.  Two questions:

- what is the number of files that is too many ? (err... arguments)

- since I live in 2005, what can I do to my FreeBSD system to upgrade it
to handle the directories I have ?  How do I fix this so I can do normal,
simple command lines instead of butchered ridiculous hacks like above ?


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