Ten ‘Find’ Command Examples for Beginners

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find command is used for locate files in a directory hierarchy on Linux/Unix systems. You can search for files according to name, owner, group, type, permissions, date and other criteria.

The search is recursive in that it will search all sub directories too. If you are a beginner, the following examples will make you clear about the find command.

1. Find full path of all files in the current and its sub-directories

The following commands locate and display the full path names of all files in the current directory and its sub-directories:

sk@sk:~$ find .
sk@sk:~$ find . -print
sk@sk:~$ find -print

2. Find files using name in current directory

The following commands will search the files with their name. Say for example, if your file name is unixmen.txt, then you can find this file using anyone of the below commands.

To find the file whose name is unixmen.txt in your current directory, enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

or

sk@sk:~$ find . -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

3. Find files using name in a particular directory

This command will find the file from the directory that you have mentioned with find command. For example, to find the file whose name is unixmen.txt in ~/ directory, enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find /home/ -name unixmen.txt
/home/sk/unixmen.txt
/home/sk/Downloads/unixmen.txt
/home/sk/Documents/unixmen.txt

4. Find files in your whole Computer

If you are not sure where exactly is your file (eg. unixmen.txt), the following command will find it for you:

sk@sk:~$ sudo find / -name unixmen.txt
/home/sk/unixmen.txt
/home/sk/Downloads/unixmen.txt
/home/sk/Documents/unixmen.txt

The above command will search the file unixmen.txt in your root (/) directory and all its sub-directories.

5. Find files ignoring case sensitivity

To find a file ignoring case sensitivity (whether the file name contain small or uppercase letters) use -iname parameter with find command:

sk@sk:~$ find -iname UniXmeN.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

As you seen in the above command, I have used combination of small and capital letters. The find command will ignore the case sensitivity and find the actual file unixmen.txt.

6. Limit search to specific directory level

The following command will find the file unixmen.txt upto one directory level from root directory:

sk@sk:~$ find -maxdepth 2 -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

To find the file up to two directory level specify the maxdepth as example 3:

sk@sk:~$ find -maxdepth 3 -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Downloads/Unixmen/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

7. Find file using with its extension

For instance if you want to find all files with extensions FLV, enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -type f -name *.FLV
./Entertainment/Video Songs/RightNow.FLV

If you know the exact name and extension of the file, then the command should be:

sk@sk:~$ find -type f -name RightNow.FLV
./Entertainment/Video Songs/RightNow.FLV

8. Find Files depending upon the size

To search files based on their size, use the parameter -size with find command.

To find the files which are 1GB or more enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -size +1G 
./VirtualBox VMs/Ubuntu 12.10 server_ 1 nic_ Internet_ Bridge/Ubuntu 12.10 server_ 1 nic_ Internet_ Bridge.vdi
./Soft_Backup/OS Images/CentOS-6.3-i386-bin-DVD2.iso
./Soft_Backup/OS Images/CentOS-6.3-i386-bin-DVD1.iso
./Soft_Backup/OS Images/Win 7 Pro.iso

To search files in a particular directory which are 1GB or more, the command should be:

sk@sk:~$ find Soft_Backup/ -size +1G 
Soft_Backup/OS Images/CentOS-6.3-i386-bin-DVD2.iso
Soft_Backup/OS Images/CentOS-6.3-i386-bin-DVD1.iso
Soft_Backup/OS Images/Win 7 Pro.iso

To search files which are less than 1GB, enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -size -1G

If your file size is exactly 10MB, just ignore the + or – sign. The command will be:

sk@sk:~$ find -size 10M

9. Find files with their Owner or Group name

To search the files whose Owner is sk, enter the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -user sk -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Downloads/Unixmen/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

To search files whose Group is sk, find them using the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -group sk -name unixmen.txt
./unixmen.txt
./Downloads/unixmen.txt
./Downloads/Unixmen/unixmen.txt
./Documents/unixmen.txt

10. Find files with their permissions

Search for a particular file whose permissions is set to 777 using the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -perm 777 -name unixmen.txt

Search for all files whose permissions are set to 777 using the following command:

sk@sk:~$ find -perm 775

Search a particular file whose owner permissions are set to read-only:

sk@sk:~$ find -perm /u=r

Search all files whose permissions are set to executable to all:

sk@sk:~$ find -perm /a=x

For more information about find command usages, refer the man pages.

sk@sk:~$ man find

For questions please refer to our Q/A forum at : http://ask.unixmen.com/

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