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copying multiple files to multiple directories

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – I've a problem copying many files in different directories. Let me explain better: Let's say I have the following in a dir: $ ls file1 file2 file3 file4 file5 dir1 dir2 dir3 and I want to copy every file* in every dir* with a single command. I've tried with: echo dir{1..3} | xargs cp file{1..5} '{}' \; My intent was to tell xargs to process every single dir* from echo and copy all the files in the input processed but this and similar didn't work. I would like to avoid the use of a script because it's a task I have to repeat for about 20 directories and the names of the files are slight (HowTos)