This is just a quick post to outline how to remove the lines with only white space from all files in a directory tree. I found another method to do this with the application I am using but I wanted to keep this handy one liner in my back pocket for future reference.

Dark Magic

The incantation goes like this.

find _site/ -type f -name '*.html' -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i '/^[[:space:]]*$/d' $1;


  • find _site/ - Recursively traverse the _site directory tree
  • -type f -name '*.html' - Mathing all files of the html file type
  • -print0 - Print the full file name to standard output
  • | xargs -0 - Pipe the result to xargs which passes the filenames to sed one by one.
  • sed -i - Use sed to replace pattern in place with no backup
  • '/^[[:space:]]*$/d' - Matching lines in the file with only whitespace
  • $1 - In the file fed in from xargs

This command will alter the files in place without creating a backup. Use at your own risk.


In this post we covered how to remove the white space from all files in a directory tree using find and sed

# linux
# shell