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I want to join output of the xargs output by new lines. I do this:

find . -name '*.txt' | xargs -n 1 iconv -f UTF-16 | ...other-commands...

I take one file at a time and convert it to UTF-8 (the system locale). All of the *.txt are one-liners without newline character at the end. So the output of xargs is a mess of text.

How do you separate items of xargs output by \n?

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An ugly solution:

find . -name '*.txt' | { xargs -n 1 -I_ bash -c 'iconv -f UTF-16 _;echo '; }| ...other-commands...
  • Ok, thank you. It works just fine. find . -name '*.txt' | {xargs -n 1 -I% bash -c 'iconv -f UTF-16 %; echo;'} – Paul Kole Feb 11 '13 at 18:56
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You could try:

find . -name '*.txt' | (xargs -n 1 iconv -f UTF-16; echo; ) | ...other-commands...

That should add a newline after the output of xargs, before piping to the other commands.

  • Sorry, it doesn't work like this. – Paul Kole Feb 11 '13 at 18:47
  • Ah I see where I went wrong. ( created a subshell, { would probably have worked (like the other answer). – lsd Feb 11 '13 at 19:45
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Using GNU Parallel you could have done:

find . -name '*.txt' | parallel -k "iconv -f UTF-16 {}; echo" | ...other-commands...

As an added bonus the iconvs would run in parallel.

Watch the intro videos to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

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