Find Command On Linux

The find command in UNIX is a command line utility for walking a file hierarchy. It can be used to find files and directories and perform subsequent operations on them. It supports searching by file, folder, name, creation date, modification date, owner and permissions. By using the ‘-exec’ other UNIX commands can be executed on files or folders found. 

$ find [where to start searching from]
 [expression determines what to find] [-options] [what to find]

Options :

  • -exec CMD: The file being searched which meets the above criteria and returns 0 for as its exit status for successful command execution.
  • -ok CMD : It works same as -exec except the user is prompted first.
  • -inum N : Search for files with inode number ‘N’.
  • -links N : Search for files with ‘N’ links.
  • -name demo : Search for files that are specified by ‘demo’.
  • -newer file : Search for files that were modified/created after ‘file’.
  • -perm octal : Search for the file if permission is ‘octal’.
  • -print : Display the path name of the files found by using the rest of the criteria.
  • -empty : Search for empty files and directories.
  • -size +N/-N : Search for files of ‘N’ blocks; ‘N’ followed by ‘c’can be used to measure size in characters; ‘+N’ means size > ‘N’ blocks and ‘-N’ means size < ‘N’ blocks.
  • -user name : Search for files owned by user name or ID ‘name’.
  • \(expr \) : True if ‘expr’ is true; used for grouping criteria combined with OR or AND.
  • ! expr : True if ‘expr’ is false.

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When Unsure Of Name Use Wildcard Patterns To Look For A File

To look for a file with a wildcard pattern it may be useful to wrap pattern in single quotes. If you are looking for a file with a .pdf extension, try:

$ find / -name '*.pdf'

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When You Need To Search An Entire Hard Drive

A simple find / -type f -name "" would do the trick if you know exact filename.

find / -type f -iname "filename*" if you want to match more files (ignore case).

Avoid -type option if you want to search for directories etc.

This will also search all mounted devices as well, might want to just search /mount/hddyouwanttosearch

note that one might wish to add sudo ahead of the mentioned command

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