Copy folder structure (without files) from one location to another

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I want to create a clone of the structure of our multi-terabyte file server. I know that cp --parents can move a file and it's parent structure, but is there any way to copy the directory structure intact?

I want to copy to a linux system and our file server is CIFS mounted there.

You could do something like:

find . -type d > dirs.txt

to create the list of directories, then

xargs mkdir -p < dirs.txt

to create the directories on the destination.

How to Copy Folder Structure without Copying the Files , To use Xcopy to clone a directory without files, use the following syntax: xcopy /t / e "C:\Your Folder" "C:\New Folder". /t = Copies the subdirectory structure, but� Another approach is use the tree which is pretty handy and navigating directory trees based on its strong options. There are options for directory only, exclude empty directories, exclude names with pattern, include only names with pattern, etc. Check out man tree

cd /path/to/directories &&
find . -type d -exec mkdir -p -- /path/to/backup/{} \;

Copying Directory Structures without Files in Windows, Software to Copy Folder Structure Without Files If you prefer a GUI method, Miroirs is a free program that allows cloning of a directory structure without the files within them. To use it, run the app, select your source folder for “Template Directory”, destination folder for “Target Location”, then click on Create button.

You can copy folders and subfolders including or excluding files from one location to another location by following the steps in different situations. Situation 1. copy folders and subfolders and contents 1. Click Start and type cmd in the search box.

I dunno if you are looking for a solution on Linux. If so, you can try this:

$ mkdir destdir
$ cd sourcedir
$ find . -type d | cpio -pdvm destdir

This guide describes three methods to easily copy directory structures (without files) in Windows: (1) with the command line, (2) with GUI tools dedicated for that purpose, and (3) by configuring a freeware file manager, FreeCommander, to enable this function. Copying Directory Structures from the Command-line

This copy the directories and files attributes, but not the files data:

cp -R --attributes-only SOURCE DEST

Then you can delete the files attributes if you are not interested in them:

find DEST -type f -exec rm {} \;

Use XCopy It’s probably the simplest way to duplicate a folder structure without copying the original content. XCopy, stands for extended copy, is a long time Windows built-in command line that copies multiple files or entire directory trees from one location to the other.

Open File Explorer by pressing Windows+E and navigate to the file you want to copy. When dragging files from one folder to another, you can use either the pane on the left or open another instance of File Explorer to navigate to the destination folder. For this example, we’re going to use a second File Explorer window to copy files.

by Srini Robocopy command is used on Windows to copy files and directories from one location to another. This CMD command also prints a detailed report of the copy operation. Below you can find examples for using Robocopy in various usecases.

1) You can open the library in windows explorer (copy entire directory to a different location on your system, write a cmd script to delete all files from folder sub folder, and finally you will have the folder structure

Comments
  • Possible duplicate of Rsync how to include directories but not files?
  • rsync solution from the above comment post looks neater.
  • This solutions won't work if you have spaces in your directory names.
  • @Jealie Change the commands to find . -type d -print0 >dirs.txt and xargs -0 mkdir -p <dirs.txt. This will cause both commands to use nulls as separators instead of whitespace.
  • xargs can exceed the maximum command length of the system when you start dealing with orders of hundreds or thousands, so use this with caution. (Find the command length limit with getconf ARG_MAX.) With a lot of directories, you may have to write a script to loop through the output instead.
  • And what about permissions & attributes will it be retained ??
  • @TrevorBoydSmith: Thanks for your comment. The original question didn't mention anything about needing to preserve permissions, ownership, or attributes. Doing so would require a different solution, as you mention, but the above is sufficient to answer the question as posed.
  • Best answer from me with find. Else you can try rsync solution from Chen Levy answer in this SO question
  • What does the -- mkdir's option?
  • -- is a standard GNU utility option terminator. It means "hey mkdir, any argument after this, it's not a flag, so treat it as a file argument, even if it starts with a '-' character."
  • this answer also does not retain the directory permissions and attributes. Use rynsc to preserve the permissions and attributes
  • same but more readable rsync -a --include '*/' --exclude '*' "$source" "$target"
  • Problem with this solution is: my folders contain thousands of files and rsync takes ages just to sync a dozen of folders.