mediatype_directory lets Linux/Mac users create a directory of (soft or hard) links to all files of a specified media type (or types) in a directory tree
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MediatypeDirectory lets Linux/Mac users create a directory of (soft or hard) links to all files of a specified media type (or types) in a directory tree.


I store content (text files, PDFs, HTML pages, office suite files, audio files, video files, etc.) mixed together in directory trees organized by subject. For example, the directory ~/Tech/Ruby/TESTING/RSpec may hold videos, HTML files, PDFs, podcasts, etc. all related to RSpec testing in Ruby.

But when I'm programming, I often want to quickly grab a PDF reference document without searching through the directory tree. I want links to PDF files on Jasmine, RSpec, Rails, Ruby, Coffeescript, Underscore, JQuery, Javascript, Backbone, etc. all in one directory.

And when I have free time to watch videos, I'd like to quickly see the list of all available programming video files.


I've run this only on Linux. It likely works on OS X. It probably won't work on Windows.


Create a new MediatypeDirectory object, passing in all your configuration options (or setting them on the object via setters). Then tell the new object to .create_directory:

require 'mediatype_directory'

config = {}
config[:what]       = '.pdf'    # OR an array like ['.htm','.html','.shtml'] OR or a special string, 'audio' or 'video'
config[:from]       = '~/path/to/top-level-dir/where/your/files/are'
config[:to]         = '~/path/to/dir/where/you/want/to/create/links'
config[:linktype]   = 'hard'    # default: 'soft'
config[:test_mode]  = true      # (or 'true', default: false)   In test_mode, no directories or files are actually created and no old links are removed
config[:remove_old_links]  = true   # (or 'true', default: false)  If true, all existing links in the link directory are deleted before creating new links

config[:what] has an alias, config[:extensions]. You can also call "md.extensions = " or "md.what = "

config[:from] has aliases config[:source] & config[:directory_tree]. You can also call "md.source =", "md.from = " or "md.directory_tree ="

config[:to] has aliases config[:target] & config[:mediatype_dirname]. You can also call " =", " = " or "md.mediatype_dirname ="

It's safe to re-run this program as many times as you want. If a link already exists, it will be skipped (unless you set :remove_old_links = true). But if a new file is found that matches the criteria, a new link will be added.

If the original content of a hard link changes, the hard link will continue referring to the original version. You can delete the hard link (which should remove the old version from your system) and regenerate a new hardlink, which should point to the new version.


After you create link directories, deleting files becomes a hassle because you must track down ALL file references. So we make this a bit easier.

To delete all links to a filename under a directory_tree:

require 'mediatype_directory'

MediatypeDirectory.delete_all 'file_I_want_to_delete.mp4', '~/path/to/top/of/directory_tree'

To see the files that would be deleted without deleting any (i.e., test mode), change the above to:

MediatypeDirectory.delete_all 'file_I_want_to_delete.mp4', '~/path/to/top/of/directory_tree', true

(We will also provide this as a command-line option.)


require 'mediatype_directory'

md ={
      what: [".flv",".mov",".mpg",'.mp4'],        # List of file extensions for which you wish to generate links
      from: '/home/jimmy/Tech/Ruby',              # Where to look for existing files
      to: '~/Tech/Docs2/Videos',                  # Where to store links to existing files
      linktype: 'hard',                           # Create hard links, not soft links (a.k.a. symbolic links)
      test_mode: true                             # Show what would happen without actually creating directories or files



  • More special strings, like 'photos'

  • Easy way to create combinations of :what and :from. For example, you might want to create ['/Tech/Docs/PDFs', '/Tech/Docs/Audio', '/Tech/Docs/Video'] for each of five directory trees, ['/Tech/Javascript', '/Tech/Python', '/Tech/PostgreSQL', '/Tech/Ruby', '/Tech/HTML5']

  • An option to update hardlinks if and only if the original file has changed


Please use at your own risk. I guarantee nothing about this program.