Linux Find Command With Examples


Linux provides a lot of important tools to make the administrator’s life easy. find command is one of the most important commands in Linux world. Find command provides a search according to the file owner, file size, file change date, filename, etc. Now we can start with simple examples and then go to more complex examples.

find Command Syntax

Find command syntax is like below. First, the path we want to search is given and then different options are provided.

find PATH OPTIONS

Find Files According Name

The easy and fast method to find files is using their names. We search the current directory with a file named tmux. We will use -name option of the find command and the double dot  means we want to search the current working directory.

$ find . -name tmux

Find Files Under Home Directory

To search and find files under home directory of all normal users following find command can be issued.

$ find /home -name ismail

Find Files Ignoring Case or Case Insensitive

By default find command search provided text case sensitive. To make a search ignoring case sensitivity prefix -iname parameter with it like below. In this example, we will search for bash as case-insensitively in the whole file system.

$ find / -iname bash
Find Files Ignoring Case or Case Insensitive
Find Files Ignoring Case or Case Insensitive

Search For Only Directories

Searching only directories can be done by specifying file type like below. We will use -type option and d to specify file type as the directory.

$ find / -type d -name bash

Find Python Files

Searching python files with their extension can be done like below. The extension py can be changed anything we want.

$ find . -name '*.py'

Find Files with 777 Permission

777 permission can be a security problem if the files owned by root or high privileged users. We can search for files according to their permissions. We will use -perm option and the permission value.

$ find / -type f -perm 0777 -print

Find SUID Enabled Files

We can search for files and directories according to their suid values. We will use -perm and /u=s to specify user suid flag.

$ find / -perm /u=s
Find SUID Set Files
Find SUID Set Files

Find Read-Only Files

Searching read only files can be done below. We will use /u=r which means user is read-only.

$ find / -perm /u=r

Find Files with Permission 777 and change to 664

Searching files with 777 permission and making them more secure with 664 can be done with the following command. We can execute a command in found files with -exec option. {} is used to specify the file name in -exec part.

$ find / -type f -perm 0777 -print -exec chmod 644 {} \;
Find Files with Permission 777 and change to 664
Find Files with Permission 777 and change to 664
  • -exec gives the ability to execute a command on the found file.
  • {} is used to specify founded files to run chmod on these files

Find and Remove Files

There is a simple shortcut to find files and remove them. In this example, we will remove files with .py extension by using rm command.

$ find . -type f -name "*.py" -exec rm -f {} \;

Find Empty Files

Find can found empty files. We only need to specify the -empty option to the find command like below.

$ find / -type f -empty
Find Empty Files
Find Empty Files

Find All Hidden Files

Hidden files generally used by operating systems or applications for configuration issues. We can use a single dot as hidden file syntax because we know that hidden files in Linux start with . point.

$ find /tmp -type f -name ".*"

Find Files For Given User

Search files according to ownership. We will use -user option to specify the user name. In this example, we want to find root user files with .txt extension.

$ find / -user root -name *.txt
Find Files For a User
Find Files For a User

Find Files For a Group

Search files according to group ownership. If the group does not exists find give a message like find: ‘developer’ is not the name of an existing group.

$  find /home -group ismail
Find Files For a Group
Find Files For a Group

Find Files Modified Last 5 Days

Search files according to their modification date. We will use -mtime options which mean modification time to find files that have modified the last 5 days.

$ find /home/ismail/ -mtime 5

Find Files Access Last 5 Days

Search files those accessed last 5 days. We will use -atime as option for access time.

$ find /home/ismail -atime 5

Find Files Modified Between Last 50 and 100 Days

Search for files modified last 50 and last 100 days.

$ find /home -mtime +50 -mtime -100
Find Files Modified Between Last 50 and 100 Days
Find Files Modified Between Last 50 and 100 Days

Find Files Changed Last 2 Hours

Search for files those changed last 2 hours

$ find /home/ -cmin -120
Find Files Changed Last 2 Hours
Find Files Changed Last 2 Hours

Find Files Sized 10MB

We can find files according to their size. We will use -size option for this. In this example, we will find that size is 10MB. We can use - o + to specify  than lesser or bigger than the given size

$  find /home -size 10M

Find Files According to Size and Delete

Search files those bigger than 100MB and delete them.

$ find /tmp -size +100M -exec rm -rf {} \;
Linux Find Command With Examples Infographing
Linux Find Command With Examples Infographing

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