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I have several files of the same name (say, somefile.php) scattered within several directories under /var/

If I want to replace all of them with a new version of somefile.php located in, say, /home/me/somefile.php ... how would I do that? Every search result I find relates to replacing text in a file but I want to replace the entire file.

I know I can find all the files with:

find /var/ -type f -name somefile.php 

But I'm not sure how to move /home/me/somefile.php into the results and replace 'em all.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

find /var -type -f -name somefile.php -exec cp /home/me/somefile.php {} \;

be careful!

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this 'replaces the content' only, as the OP said. I guess he wants to rename the found file to the same name the new file has AND replace its contents ... – Aug 25 '10 at 21:51
The correct syntax is find /var -type f (not -f). What do do you mean by whole content? – ringø Aug 26 '10 at 2:13

As you see, this works with files with whitespaces too:

hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ mkdir my\ dir{1,2,3}/ ; touch my\ dir{1,2,3}/file\ to\ replace
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ tree
├── my dir1
│   └── file to replace
├── my dir2
│   └── file to replace
└── my dir3
    └── file to replace

3 directories, 3 files
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ echo "the new one" > the\ new\ one
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ find . -type f -name 'file to replace' -exec cp the\ new\ one \{\} \; -execdir mv \{\} the\ new\ one \;
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ tree
├── my dir1
│   └── the new one
├── my dir2
│   └── the new one
├── my dir3
│   └── the new one
└── the new one

3 directories, 4 files
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ cat my\ dir1/the\ new\ one
the new one
hoeha@dw:/tmp/test$ find -version | head -1
find (GNU findutils) 4.4.2

Is this what you wanted?

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GNU-extension-free version:

find /var -name somefile.php | while read LINE; do cp /home/me/somefile.php "$LINE"; done

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