Man Page Minute – find

NAME
find – search for files in a directory hierarchy

SYNOPSIS
find [-H] [-L] [-P] [path…] [expression]

DESCRIPTION
This manual page documents the GNU version of find. GNU find searches
the directory tree rooted at each given file name by evaluating the
given expression from left to right, according to the rules of prece?
dence (see section OPERATORS), until the outcome is known (the left
hand side is false for and operations, true for or), at which point
find moves on to the next file name.

If you are using find in an environment where security is important
(for example if you are using it to seach directories that are writable
by other users), you should read the “Security Considerations” chapter
of the findutils documentation, which is called Finding Files and comes
with findutils. That document also includes a lot more detail and
discussion than this manual page, so you may find it a more useful
source of information.

OPTIONS
The ?-H?, ?-L? and ?-P? options control the treatment of symbolic
links. Command-line arguments following these are taken to be names of
files or directories to be examined, up to the first argument that
begins with ?-?, ?(?, ?)?, ?,?, or ?!?. That argument and any follow?
ing arguments are taken to be the expression describing what is to be
searched for. If no paths are given, the current directory is used.
If no expression is given, the expression ?-print? is used (but you
should probably consider using ?-print0? instead, anyway).

This manual page talks about ?options? within the expression list.
These options control the behaviour of find but are specified immedi?
ately after the last path name. The three ?real? options ?-H?, ?-L?
and ?-P? must appear before the first path name, if at all.

-P Never follow symbolic links. This is the default behaviour.
When find examines or prints information a file, and the file is
a symbolic link, the information used shall be taken from the
properties of the symbolic link itself.

-L Follow symbolic links. When find examines or prints information
about files, the information used shall be taken from the prop?
erties of the file to which the link points, not from the link
itself (unless it is a broken symbolic link or find is unable to
examine the file to which the link points). Use of this option
implies -noleaf. If you later use the -P option, -noleaf will
still be in effect. If -L is in effect and find discovers a
symbolic link to a subdirectory during its search, the subdirec?
tory pointed to by the symbolic link will be searched.

When the -L option is in effect, the -type predicate will always
match against the type of the file that a symbolic link points
to rather than the link itself (unless the symbolic link is bro?
ken). Using -L causes the -lname and -ilname predicates always
to return false.

-H Do not follow symbolic links, except while processing the com?
mand line arguments. When find examines or prints information
about files, the information used shall be taken from the prop?
erties of the symbolic link itself. The only exception to this
behaviour is when a file specified on the command line is a sym?
bolic link, and the link can be resolved. For that situation,
the information used is taken from whatever the link points to
(that is, the link is followed). The information about the link
itself is used as a fallback if the file pointed to by the sym?
bolic link cannot be examined. If -H is in effect and one of
the paths specified on the command line is a symbolic link to a
directory, the contents of that directory will be examined
(though of course -maxdepth 0 would prevent this).

If more than one of -H, -L and -P is specified, each overrides the oth?
ers; the last one appearing on the command line takes effect. Since it
is the default, the -P option should be considered to be in effect
unless either -H or -L is specified.

GNU find frequently stats files during the processing of the command
line itself, before any searching has begun. These options also affect
how those arguments are processed. Specifically, there are a number of
tests that compare files listed on the command line against a file we
are currently considering. In each case, the file specified on the
command line will have been examined and some of its properties will
have been saved. If the named file is in fact a symbolic link, and the
-P option is in effect (or if neither -H nor -L were specified), the
information used for the comparison will be taken from the properties
of the symbolic link. Otherwise, it will be taken from the properties
of the file the link points to. If find cannot follow the link (for
example because it has insufficient privileges or the link points to a
nonexistent file) the properties of the link itself will be used.

When the -H or -L options are in effect, any symbolic links listed as
the argument of -newer will be dereferenced, and the timestamp will be
taken from the file to which the symbolic link points. The same con?
sideration applies to -anewer and -cnewer.

The -follow option has a similar effect to -L, though it takes effect
at the point where it appears (that is, if -L is not used but -follow
is, any symbolic links appearing after -follow on the command line will
be dereferenced, and those before it will not).

EXPRESSIONS
The expression is made up of options (which affect overall operation
rather than the processing of a specific file, and always return true),
tests (which return a true or false value), and actions (which have
side effects and return a true or false value), all separated by opera?
tors. -and is assumed where the operator is omitted.

If the expression contains no actions other than -prune, -print is per?
formed on all files for which the expression is true.

OPTIONS
All options always return true. Except for -follow and -daystart, the
options affect all tests, including tests specified before the option.
This is because the options are processed when the command line is
parsed, while the tests don?t do anything until files are examined.
The -follow and -daystart options are different in this respect, and
have an effect only on tests which appear later in the command line.
Therefore, for clarity, it is best to place them at the beginning of
the expression. A warning is issued if you don?t do this.

-daystart
Measure times (for -amin, -atime, -cmin, -ctime, -mmin, and
-mtime) from the beginning of today rather than from 24 hours
ago. This option only affects tests which appear later on the
command line.

-depth Process each directory?s contents before the directory itself.

-d A synonym for -depth, for compatibility with FreeBSD, NetBSD,
MacOS X and OpenBSD.

-follow
Deprecated; use the -L option instead. Dereference symbolic
links. Implies -noleaf. The -follow option affects only those
tests which appear after it on the command line. Unless the -H
or -L option has been specified, the position of the -follow
option changes the behaviour of the -newer predicate; any files
listed as the argument of -newer will be dereferenced if they
are symbolic links. The same consideration applies to -anewer
and -cnewer. Similarly, the -type predicate will always match
against the type of the file that a symbolic link points to
rather than the link itself. Using -follow causes the -lname
and -ilname predicates always to return false.

-help, –help
Print a summary of the command-line usage of find and exit.

-ignore_readdir_race
Normally, find will emit an error message when it fails to stat
a file. If you give this option and a file is deleted between
the time find reads the name of the file from the directory and
the time it tries to stat the file, no error message will be
issued. This also applies to files or directories whose names
are given on the command line. This option takes effect at the
time the command line is read, which means that you cannot
search one part of the filesystem with this option on and part
of it with this option off (if you need to do that, you will
need to issue two find commands instead, one with the option and
one without it).

-maxdepth levels
Descend at most levels (a non-negative integer) levels of direc?
tories below the command line arguments. ?-maxdepth 0? means
only apply the tests and actions to the command line arguments.

-mindepth levels
Do not apply any tests or actions at levels less than levels (a
non-negative integer). ?-mindepth 1? means process all files
except the command line arguments.

-mount Don?t descend directories on other filesystems. An alternate
name for -xdev, for compatibility with some other versions of
find.

-noignore_readdir_race
Turns off the effect of -ignore_readdir_race.

-noleaf
Do not optimize by assuming that directories contain 2 fewer
subdirectories than their hard link count. This option is
needed when searching filesystems that do not follow the Unix
directory-link convention, such as CD-ROM or MS-DOS filesystems
or AFS volume mount points. Each directory on a normal Unix
filesystem has at least 2 hard links: its name and its ?.?
entry. Additionally, its subdirectories (if any) each have a
?..? entry linked to that directory. When find is examining a
directory, after it has statted 2 fewer subdirectories than the
directory?s link count, it knows that the rest of the entries in
the directory are non-directories (?leaf? files in the directory
tree). If only the files? names need to be examined, there is
no need to stat them; this gives a significant increase in
search speed.

-regextype type
Changes the regular expression syntax understood by -regex and
-iregex tests which occur later on the command line. Currently-
implemented types are emacs (this is the default), posix-awk,
posix-basic, posix-egrep and posix-extended.

-version, –version
Print the find version number and exit.

-warn, -nowarn
Turn warning messages on or off. These warnings apply only to
the command line usage, not to any conditions that find might
encounter when it searches directories. The default behaviour
corresponds to -warn if standard input is a tty, and to -nowarn
otherwise.

-xdev Don?t descend directories on other filesystems.

TESTS
Numeric arguments can be specified as

+n for greater than n,

-n for less than n,

n for exactly n.

-amin n
File was last accessed n minutes ago.

-anewer file
File was last accessed more recently than file was modified. If
file is a symbolic link and the -H option or the -L option is in
effect, the access time of the file it points to is always used.

-atime n
File was last accessed n*24 hours ago. When find figures out
how many 24-hour periods ago the file was last accessed, any
fractional part is ignored, so to match -atime +1, a file has to
have been accessed at least two days ago.

-cmin n
File?s status was last changed n minutes ago.

-cnewer file
File?s status was last changed more recently than file was modi?
fied. If file is a symbolic link and the -H option or the -L
option is in effect, the status-change time of the file it
points to is always used.

-ctime n
File?s status was last changed n*24 hours ago. See the comments
for -atime to understand how rounding affects the interpretation
of file status change times.

-empty File is empty and is either a regular file or a directory.

-false Always false.

-fstype type
File is on a filesystem of type type. The valid filesystem
types vary among different versions of Unix; an incomplete list
of filesystem types that are accepted on some version of Unix or
another is: ufs, 4.2, 4.3, nfs, tmp, mfs, S51K, S52K. You can
use -printf with the %F directive to see the types of your
filesystems.

-gid n File?s numeric group ID is n.

-group gname
File belongs to group gname (numeric group ID allowed).

-ilname pattern
Like -lname, but the match is case insensitive. If the -L
option or the -follow option is in effect, this test returns
false unless the symbolic link is broken.

-iname pattern
Like -name, but the match is case insensitive. For example, the
patterns ?fo*? and ?F??? match the file names ?Foo?, ?FOO?,
?foo?, ?fOo?, etc. In these patterns, unlike filename expan?
sion by the shell, an initial ?.? can be matched by ?*?. That
is, find -name *bar will match the file ?.foobar?. Please note
that you should quote patterns as a matter of course, otherwise
the shell will expand any wildcard characters in them.

-inum n
File has inode number n. It is normally easier to use the
-samefile test instead.

-ipath pattern
Behaves in the same way as -iwholename. This option is depre?
cated, so please do not use it.

-iregex pattern
Like -regex, but the match is case insensitive.

-iwholename pattern
Like -wholename, but the match is case insensitive.

-links n
File has n links.

-lname pattern
File is a symbolic link whose contents match shell pattern pat?
tern. The metacharacters do not treat ?/? or ?.? specially. If
the -L option or the -follow option is in effect, this test
returns false unless the symbolic link is broken.

-mmin n
File?s data was last modified n minutes ago.

-mtime n
File?s data was last modified n*24 hours ago. See the comments
for -atime to understand how rounding affects the interpretation
of file modification times.

-name pattern
Base of file name (the path with the leading directories
removed) matches shell pattern pattern. The metacharacters
(?*?, ???, and ?[]?) match a ?.? at the start of the base name
(this is a change in findutils-4.2.2; see section STANDARDS CON?
FORMANCE below). To ignore a directory and the files under it,
use -prune; see an example in the description of -wholename.
Braces are not recognised as being special, despite the fact
that some shells including Bash imbue braces with a special
meaning in shell patterns. The filename matching is performed
with the use of the fnmatch(3) library function. Don?t forget
to enclose the pattern in quotes in order to protect it from
expansion by the shell.

-newer file
File was modified more recently than file. If file is a sym?
bolic link and the -H option or the -L option is in effect, the
modification time of the file it points to is always used.

-nouser
No user corresponds to file?s numeric user ID.

-nogroup
No group corresponds to file?s numeric group ID.

-path pattern
See -wholename. The predicate -path is also supported by HP-UX
find.

-perm mode
File?s permission bits are exactly mode (octal or symbolic).
Since an exact match is required, if you want to use this form
for symbolic modes, you may have to specify a rather complex
mode string. For example ?-perm g=w? will only match files
which have mode 0020 (that is, ones for which group write per?
mission is the only permission set). It is more likely that you
will want to use the ?/? or ?-? forms, for example ?-perm -g=w?,
which matches any file with group write permission. See the
EXAMPLES section for some illustrative examples.

-perm -mode
All of the permission bits mode are set for the file. Symbolic
modes are accepted in this form, and this is usually the way in
which would want to use them. You must specify ?u?, ?g? or ?o?
if you use a symbolic mode. See the EXAMPLES section for some
illustrative examples.

-perm /mode
Any of the permission bits mode are set for the file. Symbolic
modes are accepted in this form. You must specify ?u?, ?g? or
?o? if you use a symbolic mode. See the EXAMPLES section for
some illustrative examples. If no permission bits in mode are
set, this test currently matches no files. However, it will
soon be changed to match any file (the idea is to be more con?
sistent with the behaviour of perm -000).

-perm +mode
Deprecated, old way of searching for files with any of the per?
mission bits in mode set. You should use -perm /mode instead.
Trying to use the ?+? syntax with symbolic modes will yield sur?
prising results. For example, ?+u+x? is a valid symbolic mode
(equivalent to +u,+x, i.e. 0111) and will therefore not be eval?
uated as -perm +mode but instead as the exact mode specifier
-perm mode and so it matches files with exact permissions 0111
instead of files with any execute bit set. If you found this
paragraph confusing, you?re not alone – just use -perm /mode.
This form of the -perm test is deprecated because the POSIX
specification requires the interpretation of a leading ?+? as
being part of a symbolic mode, and so we switched to using ?/?
instead.

-regex pattern
File name matches regular expression pattern. This is a match
on the whole path, not a search. For example, to match a file
named ?./fubar3?, you can use the regular expression ?.*bar.? or
?.*b.*3?, but not ?f.*r3?. The regular expressions understood
by find are by default Emacs Regular Expressions, but this can
be changed with the -regextype option.

-samefile name
File refers to the same inode as name. When -L is in effect,
this can include symbolic links.

-size n[cwbkMG]
File uses n units of space. The following suffixes can be used:

?b? for 512-byte blocks (this is the default if no suffix is
used)

?c? for bytes

?w? for two-byte words

?k? for Kilobytes (units of 1024 bytes)

?M? for Megabytes (units of 1048576 bytes)

?G? for Gigabytes (units of 1073741824 bytes)

The size does not count indirect blocks, but it does count
blocks in sparse files that are not actually allocated. Bear in
mind that the ?%k? and ?%b? format specifiers of -printf handle
sparse files differently. The ?b? suffix always denotes
512-byte blocks and never 1 Kilobyte blocks, which is different
to the behaviour of -ls.

-true Always true.

-type c
File is of type c:

b block (buffered) special

c character (unbuffered) special

d directory

p named pipe (FIFO)

f regular file

l symbolic link; this is never true if the -L option or the
-follow option is in effect, unless the symbolic link is
broken. If you want to search for symbolic links when -L
is in effect, use -xtype.

s socket

D door (Solaris)

-uid n File?s numeric user ID is n.

-used n
File was last accessed n days after its status was last changed.

-user uname
File is owned by user uname (numeric user ID allowed).

-wholename pattern
File name matches shell pattern pattern. The metacharacters do
not treat ?/? or ?.? specially; so, for example,
find . -wholename ?./sr*sc?
will print an entry for a directory called ?./src/misc? (if one
exists). To ignore a whole directory tree, use -prune rather
than checking every file in the tree. For example, to skip the
directory ?src/emacs? and all files and directories under it,
and print the names of the other files found, do something like
this:
find . -wholename ?./src/emacs? -prune -o -print

-xtype c
The same as -type unless the file is a symbolic link. For sym?
bolic links: if the -H or -P option was specified, true if the
file is a link to a file of type c; if the -L option has been
given, true if c is ?l?. In other words, for symbolic links,
-xtype checks the type of the file that -type does not check.

ACTIONS
-delete
Delete files; true if removal succeeded. If the removal failed,
an error message is issued. Use of this action automatically
turns on the ?-depth? option.

-exec command ;
Execute command; true if 0 status is returned. All following
arguments to find are taken to be arguments to the command until
an argument consisting of ?;? is encountered. The string ?{}?
is replaced by the current file name being processed everywhere
it occurs in the arguments to the command, not just in arguments
where it is alone, as in some versions of find. Both of these
constructions might need to be escaped (with a ?\?) or quoted to
protect them from expansion by the shell. See the EXAMPLES sec?
tion for examples of the use of the ?-exec? option. The speci?
fied command is run once for each matched file. The command is
executed in the starting directory. There are unavoidable
security problems surrounding use of the -exec option; you
should use the -execdir option instead.

-exec command {} +
This variant of the -exec option runs the specified command on
the selected files, but the command line is built by appending
each selected file name at the end; the total number of invoca?
tions of the command will be much less than the number of
matched files. The command line is built in much the same way
that xargs builds its command lines. Only one instance of ?{}?
is allowed within the command. The command is executed in the
starting directory.

-execdir command ;

-execdir command {} +
Like -exec, but the specified command is run from the subdirec?
tory containing the matched file, which is not normally the
directory in which you started find. This a much more secure
method for invoking commands, as it avoids race conditions dur?
ing resolution of the paths to the matched files. As with the
-exec option, the ?+? form of -execdir will build a command line
to process more than one matched file, but any given invocation
of command will only list files that exist in the same subdirec?
tory. If you use this option, you must ensure that your $PATH
environment variable does not reference the current directory;
otherwise, an attacker can run any commands they like by leaving
an appropriately-named file in a directory in which you will run
-execdir.

-fls file
True; like -ls but write to file like -fprint. The output file
is always created, even if the predicate is never matched. See
the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about how unusual
characters in filenames are handled.

-fprint file
True; print the full file name into file file. If file does not
exist when find is run, it is created; if it does exist, it is
truncated. The file names ??/dev/stdout?? and ??/dev/stderr??
are handled specially; they refer to the standard output and
standard error output, respectively. The output file is always
created, even if the predicate is never matched. See the
UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about how unusual
characters in filenames are handled.

-fprint0 file
True; like -print0 but write to file like -fprint. The output
file is always created, even if the predicate is never matched.
See the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about how
unusual characters in filenames are handled.

-fprintf file format
True; like -printf but write to file like -fprint. The output
file is always created, even if the predicate is never matched.
See the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about how
unusual characters in filenames are handled.

-ok command ;
Like -exec but ask the user first (on the standard input); if
the response does not start with ?y? or ?Y?, do not run the com?
mand, and return false. If the command is run, its standard
input is redirected from /dev/null.

-print True; print the full file name on the standard output, followed
by a newline. If you are piping the output of find into
another program and there is the faintest possibility that the
files which you are searching for might contain a newline, then
you should seriously consider using the ?-print0? option instead
of ?-print?. See the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information
about how unusual characters in filenames are handled.

-okdir command ;
Like -execdir but ask the user first (on the standard input); if
the response does not start with ?y? or ?Y?, do not run the com?
mand, and return false. If the command is run, its standard
input is redirected from /dev/null.

-print0
True; print the full file name on the standard output, followed
by a null character (instead of the newline character that
?-print? uses). This allows file names that contain newlines or
other types of white space to be correctly interpreted by pro?
grams that process the find output. This option corresponds to
the ?-0? option of xargs.

-printf format
True; print format on the standard output, interpreting ?\?
escapes and ?%? directives. Field widths and precisions can be
specified as with the ?printf? C function. Please note that
many of the fields are printed as %s rather than %d, and this
may mean that flags don?t work as you might expect. This also
means that the ?-? flag does work (it forces fields to be left-
aligned). Unlike -print, -printf does not add a newline at the
end of the string. The escapes and directives are:

\a Alarm bell.

\b Backspace.

\c Stop printing from this format immediately and flush the
output.

\f Form feed.

\n Newline.

\r Carriage return.

\t Horizontal tab.

\v Vertical tab.

\ ASCII NUL.

\\ A literal backslash (?\?).

\NNN The character whose ASCII code is NNN (octal).

A ?\? character followed by any other character is treated as an
ordinary character, so they both are printed.

%% A literal percent sign.

%a File?s last access time in the format returned by the C
?ctime? function.

%Ak File?s last access time in the format specified by k,
which is either [email protected]? or a directive for the C ?strftime?
function. The possible values for k are listed below;
some of them might not be available on all systems, due
to differences in ?strftime? between systems.

@ seconds since Jan. 1, 1970, 00:00 GMT.

Time fields:

H hour (00..23)

I hour (01..12)

k hour ( 0..23)

l hour ( 1..12)

M minute (00..59)

p locale?s AM or PM

r time, 12-hour (hh:mm:ss [AP]M)

S second (00..61)

T time, 24-hour (hh:mm:ss)

+ Date and time, separated by ?+?, for example
?2004-04-28+22:22:05?. The time is given in the
current timezone (which may be affected by set?
ting the TZ environment variable). This is a GNU
extension.

X locale?s time representation (H:M:S)

Z time zone (e.g., EDT), or nothing if no time zone
is determinable

Date fields:

a locale?s abbreviated weekday name (Sun..Sat)

A locale?s full weekday name, variable length (Sun?
day..Saturday)

b locale?s abbreviated month name (Jan..Dec)

B locale?s full month name, variable length (Jan?
uary..December)

c locale?s date and time (Sat Nov 04 12:02:33 EST
1989)

d day of month (01..31)

D date (mm/dd/yy)

h same as b

j day of year (001..366)

m month (01..12)

U week number of year with Sunday as first day of
week (00..53)

w day of week (0..6)

W week number of year with Monday as first day of
week (00..53)

x locale?s date representation (mm/dd/yy)

y last two digits of year (00..99)

Y year (1970…)

%b The amount of disk space used for this file in 512-byte
blocks. Since disk space is allocated in multiples of the
filesystem block size this is usually greater than
%s/512, but it can also be smaller if the file is a
sparse file.

%c File?s last status change time in the format returned by
the C ?ctime? function.

%Ck File?s last status change time in the format specified by
k, which is the same as for %A.

%d File?s depth in the directory tree; 0 means the file is a
command line argument.

%D The device number on which the file exists (the st_dev
field of struct stat), in decimal.

%f File?s name with any leading directories removed (only
the last element).

%F Type of the filesystem the file is on; this value can be
used for -fstype.

%g File?s group name, or numeric group ID if the group has
no name.

%G File?s numeric group ID.

%h Leading directories of file?s name (all but the last ele?
ment). If the file name contains no slashes (since it is
in the current directory) the %h specifier expands to
“.”.

%H Command line argument under which file was found.

%i File?s inode number (in decimal).

%k The amount of disk space used for this file in 1K blocks.
Since disk space is allocated in multiples of the
filesystem block size this is usually greater than
%s/1024, but it can also be smaller if the file is a
sparse file.

%l Object of symbolic link (empty string if file is not a
symbolic link).

%m File?s permission bits (in octal). This option uses the
?traditional? numbers which most Unix implementations
use, but if your particular implementation uses an
unusual ordering of octal permissions bits, you will see
a difference between the actual value of the file?s mode
and the output of %m. Normally you will want to have a
leading zero on this number, and to do this, you should
use the # flag (as in, for example, ?%#m?).

%M File?s permissions (in symbolic form, as for ls). This
directive is supported in findutils 4.2.5 and later.

%n Number of hard links to file.

%p File?s name.

%P File?s name with the name of the command line argument
under which it was found removed.

%s File?s size in bytes.

%t File?s last modification time in the format returned by
the C ?ctime? function.

%Tk File?s last modification time in the format specified by
k, which is the same as for %A.

%u File?s user name, or numeric user ID if the user has no
name.

%U File?s numeric user ID.

%y File?s type (like in ls -l), U=unknown type (shouldn?t
happen)

%Y File?s type (like %y), plus follow symlinks: L=loop,
N=nonexistent

A ?%? character followed by any other character is discarded,
but the other character is printed (don?t rely on this, as fur?
ther format characters may be introduced). A ?%? at the end of
the format argument causes undefined behaviour since there is no
following character. In some locales, it may hide your door
keys, while in others it may remove the final page from the
novel you are reading.

The %m and %d directives support the # , 0 and + flags, but the
other directives do not, even if they print numbers. Numeric
directives that do not support these flags include G, U, b, D, k
and n. The ?-? format flag is supported and changes the align?
ment of a field from right-justified (which is the default) to
left-justified.

See the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about how
unusual characters in filenames are handled.

-prune If -depth is not given, true; if the file is a directory, do not
descend into it.
If -depth is given, false; no effect.

-quit Exit immediately. No child processes will be left running, but
no more paths specified on the command line will be processed.
For example, find /tmp/foo /tmp/bar -print -quit will print only
/tmp/foo. Any command lines which have been built up with
-execdir … {} + will be invoked before find exits. The exit
status may or may not be zero, depending on whether an error has
already occurred.

-ls True; list current file in ?ls -dils? format on standard output.
The block counts are of 1K blocks, unless the environment vari?
able POSIXLY_CORRECT is set, in which case 512-byte blocks are
used. See the UNUSUAL FILENAMES section for information about
how unusual characters in filenames are handled.

UNUSUAL FILENAMES
Many of the actions of find result in the printing of data which is
under the control of other users. This includes file names, sizes,
modification times and so forth. File names are a potential problem
since they can contain any character except ?\0? and ?/?. Unusual
characters in file names can do unexpected and often undesirable things
to your terminal (for example, changing the settings of your function
keys on some terminals). Unusual characters are handled differently by
various actions, as described below.

-print0, -fprint0
Always print the exact filename, unchanged, even if the output
is going to a terminal.

-ls, -fls
Unusual characters are always escaped. White space, backslash,
and double quote characters are printed using C-style escaping
(for example ?\f?, ?\”?). Other unusual characters are printed
using an octal escape. Other printable characters (for -ls and
-fls these are the characters between octal 041 and 0176) are
printed as-is.

-printf, -fprintf
If the output is not going to a terminal, it is printed as-is.
Otherwise, the result depends on which directive is in use. The
directives %D, %F, %g, %G, %H, %Y, and %y expand to values which
are not under control of files? owners, and so are printed as-
is. The directives %a, %b, %c, %d, %i, %k, %m, %M, %n, %s, %t,
%u and %U have values which are under the control of files? own?
ers but which cannot be used to send arbitrary data to the ter?
minal, and so these are printed as-is. The directives %f, %h,
%l, %p and %P are quoted. This quoting is performed in the same
way as for GNU ls. This is not the same quoting mechanism as
the one used for -ls and -fls. If you are able to decide what
format to use for the output of find then it is normally better
to use ?\0? as a terminator than to use newline, as file names
can contain white space and newline characters.

-print, -fprint
Quoting is handled in the same way as for -printf and -fprintf.
If you are using find in a script or in a situation where the
matched files might have arbitrary names, you should consider
using -print0 instead of -print.

The -ok and -okdir actions print the current filename as-is. This may
change in a future release.

OPERATORS
Listed in order of decreasing precedence:

( expr )
Force precedence.

! expr True if expr is false.

-not expr
Same as ! expr, but not POSIX compliant.

expr1 expr2
Two expressions in a row are taken to be joined with an implied
“and”; expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is false.

expr1 -a expr2
Same as expr1 expr2.

expr1 -and expr2
Same as expr1 expr2, but not POSIX compliant.

expr1 -o expr2
Or; expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is true.

expr1 -or expr2
Same as expr1 -o expr2, but not POSIX compliant.

expr1 , expr2
List; both expr1 and expr2 are always evaluated. The value of
expr1 is discarded; the value of the list is the value of
expr2. The comma operator can be useful for searching for
several different types of thing, but traversing the filesystem
hierarchy only once. The -fprintf action can be used to list
the various matched items into several different output files.

STANDARDS CONFORMANCE
The following options are specified in the POSIX standard (IEEE Std
1003.1, 2003 Edition):

-H This option is supported.

-L This option is supported.

-name This option is supported, but POSIX conformance depends on the
POSIX conformance of the system?s fnmatch(3) library function.
As of findutils-4.2.2, shell metacharacters (?*?. ??? or ?[]?
for example) will match a leading ?.?, because IEEE PASC inter?
pretation 126 requires this. This is a change from previous
versions of findutils.

-type Supported. POSIX specifies ?b?, ?c?, ?d?, ?l?, ?p?, ?f? and
?s?. GNU find also supports ?D?, representing a Door, where the
OS provides these.

-ok Supported. Interpretation of the response is not locale-depen?
dent (see ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES).

-newer Supported. If the file specified is a symbolic link, it is
always dereferenced. This is a change from previous behaviour,
which used to take the relevant time from the symbolic link; see
the HISTORY section below.

Other predicates
The predicates ?-atime?, ?-ctime?, ?-depth?, ?-group?, ?-links?,
?-mtime?, ?-nogroup?, ?-nouser?, ?-perm?, ?-print?, ?-prune?,
?-size?, ?-user? and ?-xdev?, are all supported.

The POSIX standard specifies parentheses ?(?, ?)?, negation ?!? and the
?and? and ?or? operators (?-a?, ?-o?).

All other options, predicates, expressions and so forth are extensions
beyond the POSIX standard. Many of these extensions are not unique to
GNU find, however.

The POSIX standard requires that

The find utility shall detect infinite loops; that is, entering
a previously visited directory that is an ancestor of the last
file encountered. When it detects an infinite loop, find shall
write a diagnostic message to standard error and shall either
recover its position in the hierarchy or terminate.

The link count of directories which contain entries which are hard
links to an ancestor will often be lower than they otherwise should be.
This can mean that GNU find will sometimes optimise away the visiting
of a subdirectory which is actually a link to an ancestor. Since find
does not actually enter such a subdirectory, it is allowed to avoid
emitting a diagnostic message. Although this behaviour may be somewhat
confusing, it is unlikely that anybody actually depends on this
behaviour. If the leaf optimisation has been turned off with -noleaf,
the directory entry will always be examined and the diagnostic message
will be issued where it is appropriate. Symbolic links cannot be used
to create filesystem cycles as such, but if the -L option or the -fol?
low option is in use, a diagnostic message is issued when find encoun?
ters a loop of symbolic links. As with loops containing hard links,
the leaf optimisation will often mean that find knows that it doesn?t
need to call stat() or chdir() on the symbolic link, so this diagnostic
is frequently not necessary.

The -d option is supported for compatibility with various BSD systems,
but you should use the POSIX-compliant option -depth instead.

The POSIXLY_CORRECT environment variable does not affect the behaviour
of the -regex or -iregex tests because those tests aren?t specified in
the POSIX standard.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
LANG Provides a default value for the internationalization variables
that are unset or null.

LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all
the other internationalization variables.

LC_COLLATE
The POSIX standard specifies that this variable affects the pat?
tern matching to be used for the ?-name? option. GNU find uses
the fnmatch(3) library function, and so support for ?LC_COLLATE?
depends on the system library.

POSIX also specifies that the ?LC_COLLATE? environment variable
affects the interpretation of the user?s response to the query
issued by ?-ok?, but this is not the case for GNU find.

LC_CTYPE
This variable affects the treatment of character classes used
with the ?-name? test, if the system?s fnmatch(3) library func?
tion supports this. It has no effect on the behaviour of the
?-ok? expression.

LC_MESSAGES
Determines the locale to be used for internationalised messages.

NLSPATH
Determines the location of the internationalisation message cat?
alogues.

PATH Affects the directories which are searched to find the executa?
bles invoked by ?-exec?, ?-execdir?, ?-ok? and ?-okdir?.

POSIXLY_CORRECT
Determines the block size used by ?-ls? and ?-fls?. If
?POSIXLY_CORRECT? is set, blocks are units of 512 bytes. Other?
wise they are units of 1024 bytes.

TZ Affects the time zone used for some of the time-related format
directives of -printf and -fprintf.

EXAMPLES
find /tmp -name core -type f -print | xargs /bin/rm -f

Find files named core in or below the directory /tmp and delete them.
Note that this will work incorrectly if there are any filenames con?
taining newlines, single or double quotes, or spaces.

find /tmp -name core -type f -print0 | xargs -0 /bin/rm -f

Find files named core in or below the directory /tmp and delete them,
processing filenames in such a way that file or directory names con?
taining single or double quotes, spaces or newlines are correctly han?
dled. The -name test comes before the -type test in order to avoid
having to call stat(2) on every file.

find . -type f -exec file ?{}? \;

Runs ?file? on every file in or below the current directory. Notice
that the braces are enclosed in single quote marks to protect them from
interpretation as shell script punctuation. The semicolon is simi?
larly protected by the use of a backslash, though ?;? could have been
used in that case also.

find / \( -perm -4000 -fprintf /root/suid.txt ?%#m %u %p\n? \) , \
\( -size +100M -fprintf /root/big.txt ?%-10s %p\n? \)

Traverse the filesystem just once, listing setuid files and directories
into /root/suid.txt and large files into /root/big.txt.

find $HOME -mtime 0

Search for files in your home directory which have been modified in the
last twenty-four hours. This command works this way because the time
since each file was last modified is divided by 24 hours and any
remainder is discarded. That means that to match -mtime 0, a file will
have to have a modification in the past which is less than 24 hours
ago.

find . -perm 664

Search for files which have read and write permission for their owner,
and group, but which other users can read but not write to. Files
which meet these criteria but have other permissions bits set (for
example if someone can execute the file) will not be matched.

find . -perm -664

Search for files which have read and write permission for their owner
and group, and which other users can read, without regard to the pres?
ence of any extra permission bits (for example the executable bit).
This will match a file which has mode 0777, for example.

find . -perm /222

Search for files which are writable by somebody (their owner, or their
group, or anybody else).

find . -perm /220
find . -perm /u+w,g+w
find . -perm /u=w,g=w

All three of these commands do the same thing, but the first one uses
the octal representation of the file mode, and the other two use the
symbolic form. These commands all search for files which are writable
by either their owner or their group. The files don?t have to be
writable by both the owner and group to be matched; either will do.

find . -perm -220
find . -perm -g+w,u+w

Both these commands do the same thing; search for files which are
writable by both their owner and their group.

find . -perm -444 -perm /222 ! -perm /111
find . -perm -a+r -perm /a+w ! -perm /a+x

These two commands both search for files that are readable for every?
body (-perm -444 or -perm -a+r), have at least on write bit set (-perm
/222 or -perm /a+w) but are not executable for anybody (! -perm /111
and ! -perm /a+x respectively)

EXIT STATUS
find exits with status 0 if all files are processed successfully,
greater than 0 if errors occur. This is deliberately a very broad
description, but if the return value is non-zero, you should not rely
on the correctness of the results of find.

SEE ALSO
locate(1), locatedb(5), updatedb(1), xargs(1), chmod(1), fnmatch(3),
regex(7), stat(2), lstat(2), ls(1), printf(3), strftime(3), ctime(3),
Finding Files (on-line in Info, or printed).

HISTORY
As of findutils-4.2.2, shell metacharacters (?*?. ??? or ?[]? for exam?
ple) used in filename patterns will match a leading ?.?, because IEEE
POSIX interpretation 126 requires this.

NON-BUGS
$ find . -name *.c -print
find: paths must precede expression
Usage: find [-H] [-L] [-P] [path…] [expression]

This happens because *.c has been expanded by the shell resulting in
find actually receiving a command line like this:

find . -name bigram.c code.c frcode.c locate.c -print

That command is of course not going to work. Instead of doing things
this way, you should enclose the pattern in quotes:
$ find . -name ?*.c? -print

BUGS
The test -perm /000 currently matches no files, but for greater consis?
tency with -perm -000, this will be changed to match all files; this
change will probably be made in early 2006. Meanwhile, a warning mes?
sage is given if you do this.

There are security problems inherent in the behaviour that the POSIX
standard specifies for find, which therefore cannot be fixed. For
example, the -exec action is inherently insecure, and -execdir should
be used instead. Please see Finding Files for more information.

The best way to report a bug is to use the form at http://savan?
nah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=findutils. The reason for this is that you
will then be able to track progress in fixing the problem. Other com?
ments about find(1) and about the findutils package in general can be
sent to the bug-findutils mailing list. To join the list, send email
to [email protected]

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