What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags





Commands tagged find from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged find - 367 results
find <mydir> -type f -exec rename 's/<string1>/<string2>/g' {} \;
2015-11-19 17:51:13
User: thrifus
Functions: find rename
Tags: find replace

This version works on OS X (if you have installed `rename`)

D="$(date "+%F %T.%N")"; [COMMAND]; find . -newermt "$D"
2015-10-15 21:09:54
User: flatcap
Functions: find

Often you run a command, but afterwards you're not quite sure what it did.

By adding this prefix/suffix around [COMMAND], you can list any files that were modified.


Take a nanosecond timestamp: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.NNNNNNNNN

date "+%F %T.%N"


Find any files that have been modified since that timestamp:

find . -newermt "$D"


This command currently only searches below the current directory.

If you want to look elsewhere change the find parameter, e.g.

find /var/log . -newermt "$D"
touch .tardis; the command ; find . -newer .tardis; rm .tardis;
2015-10-15 19:18:54
User: BeniBela
Functions: command find rm touch

This lists all files modified after calling some command using a temporal anchor.

find /proc/*/fd -xtype f -printf "%l\n" | grep -P '^/(?!dev|proc|sys)' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n
2015-08-18 17:58:21
User: flatcap
Functions: find grep sort uniq
Tags: sort uniq find grep

List all open files of all processes.


find /proc/*/fd

Look through the /proc file descriptors


-xtype f

list only symlinks to file


-printf "%l\n"

print the symlink target


grep -P '^/(?!dev|proc|sys)'

ignore files from /dev /proc or /sys


sort | uniq -c | sort -n

count the results


Many processes will create and immediately delete temporary files.

These can the filtered out by adding:

... | grep -v " (deleted)$" | ...
for f in `ls`; do sed -i '/MATCHING STRING/ { s/ORIGINAL/REPLACEMENT/; }' ${f} ; done
2015-05-21 19:37:42
User: krizzo
Functions: sed

Find and replace specific characters in a single line in multiple files with sed.

locate -i /pattern/ | xargs -n1 dirname | sort -u
2015-05-09 21:22:05
User: dardo1982
Functions: dirname locate sort xargs
Tags: find case

Uses "locate" instead of "find", "sort -u" instead of "sort | uniq" and it's case insensitive.

findfile() { find . -type f -iname "*${*}*" ; }
2015-01-01 03:15:51
User: Xk2c
Functions: find
Tags: find function

Actually your func will find both files and directorys that contain ${1}.

This one only find files.

..and to look only for dirs:

finddir() { find . -type d -iname "*${*}*" ; }

finame(){ find . -iname "*$1*"; }
2014-12-31 22:33:08
Functions: find
Tags: find function

It looks for files that contains the given word as parameter.

* case insensitive

* matches files containing the given word.

find . -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u %-9g %TY-%Tm-%Td+%Tr [%Y] %s %p\n'|sort -nrk8|head
find . -type f -name "*\?*" | while read f;do mv "$f" "${f//[^0-9A-Za-z.\/\(\)\ ]/_}";done
2014-11-28 14:55:27
User: miccaman
Functions: find mv read
Tags: bash find mv

replace all "?" characters in filename to underscore

find . -type d -name "*\?*" | while read f;do mv "$f" "${f//[^0-9A-Za-z.\/\(\)\ ]/_}";done
2014-11-28 14:52:46
User: miccaman
Functions: find mv read
Tags: bash find mv

rename all dirs with "?" char in name, leave spaces and () in place

find . -name "*.pdf" -print0 | xargs -r0 stat -c %y\ %n | sort|awk '{print $4}'|gawk 'BEGIN{ a=1 }{ printf "mv %s %04d.pdf\n", $0, a++ }' | bash
2014-09-23 06:40:45
Functions: awk find gawk printf stat xargs
Tags: sort awk find xargs

Caution: distructive overwrite of filenames

Useful for concatenating pdfs in date order using pdftk

function findOlderThan () { find . -mmin -$((($(date "+%s") - $(stat -c %Y $1))/60)) -type f ; }
2014-08-29 17:52:34
User: RobertDeRose
Functions: date find stat
Tags: find date stat

This function will find the modification time in unix_time of the given file, then calculate the number of minutes from now to then and then find all files modified in that range.

fn() { find . -iname "*$1*" -print; }
2014-07-15 05:30:59
User: suprjami
Functions: find

A simple bash function to the find command. I use this much more than find itself.

find . -exec rename 's/_/\ /g' {} +
2014-05-05 02:47:19
User: KlfJoat
Functions: find rename

Everyone wants to take spaces out of filenames. Forget that. I want to put them back in. We've got tools and filesystems that support spaces, they look better, so I'm going to use them.

Because of how find works I find I need to run this multiple times, if it's renaming subdirs. But it can be re-run without issues.

I got this version of the command from a comment in this underscore-generating command. http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/760/find-recursively-from-current-directory-down-files-and-directories-whose-names-contain-single-or-multiple-whitespaces-and-replace-each-such-occurrence-with-a-single-underscore. All I did was change the regex.

find directory -type l -lname string
2014-05-02 14:44:24
User: gumption
Functions: find
Tags: find

Finds all symbolic links in the specified directory which match the specified string pattern.

I used this when upgrading from an Apple-supported version of Java 6 (1.6.0_65) to an Oracle-supported version (1.7.0_55) on Mac OS X 10.8.5 to find out which executables were pointing to /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current/Commands (Apple version) vs. /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_55.jdk/Contents/Home/bin (Oracle version). However, it appears the current JDK installation script already takes care of modifying the links.

find /some/directory/* -prune -type f -name *.log
2014-05-02 00:14:32
User: bigstupid
Functions: find

This find syntax seems a little easier to remember for me when I have to use -prune on AIX's find. It works with gnu find, too.

Add whatever other find options after -prune

for file in $(find . -name *.mp4); do ogv=${file%%.mp4}.ogv; if test "$file" -nt "$ogv"; then echo $file' is newer then '$ogv; ffmpeg2theora $file; fi done
find -type f -exec grep -q "regexp" {} \; -delete
2014-04-06 19:06:50
User: gumnos
Functions: find grep
Tags: find grep

Deletes files in the current directory or its subdirectories that match "regexp" but handle directories, newlines, spaces, and other funky characters better than the original #13315. Also uses grep's "-q" to be quiet and quit at the first match, making this much faster. No need for awk either.

grep -Rl "pattern" files_or_dir
2014-04-06 18:18:07
User: N1nsun
Functions: grep
Tags: awk find grep

Grep can search files and directories recursively. Using the -Z option and xargs -0 you can get all results on one line with escaped spaces, suitable for other commands like rm.

find . | xargs grep -l "FOOBAR" | awk '{print "rm -f "$1}' > doit.sh
2014-04-06 15:48:41
User: sergeylukin
Functions: awk find grep xargs
Tags: awk find grep

After this command you can review doit.sh file before executing it.

If it looks good, execute: `. doit.sh`

dmesg | grep -Po 'csum failed ino\S* \d+' | awk '{print $4}' | sort -u | xargs -n 1 find / -inum 2> /dev/null
2014-03-22 12:22:46
User: Sepero
Functions: awk dmesg find grep sort xargs
Tags: find inode btrfs

Btrfs reports the inode numbers of files with failed checksums. Use `find` to lookup the file names of those inodes. The files may need to be deleted and replaced with backups.

dmesg | grep -Po 'csum failed ino\S* \d+' | sort | uniq | xargs -n 3 find / -inum 2> /dev/null
2014-03-20 06:27:15
User: Sepero
Functions: dmesg find grep sort uniq xargs
Tags: find inode btrfs

Btrfs reports the inode numbers of files with failed checksums. Use `find` to lookup the file names of those inodes.

for i in $(find . -regex '.*\/C.*\.cpp'); do svn mv `perl -e 'my $s=$ARGV[0]; $s=~m/(.*\/)C(.*)/; print "$s $1$2"' "$i"`; done
find . -name *.properties -exec /bin/echo {} \; -exec cat {} \; | grep -E 'listen|properties'