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.


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:



2011-03-12 - Confoo 2011 presentation
Slides are available from the commandlinefu presentation at Confoo 2011: http://presentations.codeinthehole.com/confoo2011/
2011-01-04 - Moderation now required for new commands
To try and put and end to the spamming, new commands require moderation before they will appear on the site.
2010-12-27 - Apologies for not banning the trolls sooner
Have been away from the interwebs over Christmas. Will be more vigilant henceforth.
2010-09-24 - OAuth and pagination problems fixed
Apologies for the delay in getting Twitter's OAuth supported. Annoying pagination gremlin also fixed.




Commands tagged find from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged find - 357 results
find . -name .svn -prune -o -print
2009-09-04 17:41:33
User: arcege
Functions: find
Tags: svn find

Put the positive clauses after the '-o' option.

find . -type f -name '*.c' -exec wc -l {} \; | awk '{sum+=$1} END {print sum}'
2009-09-04 15:51:30
User: arcege
Functions: awk find wc
Tags: awk find wc

Have wc work on each file then add up the total with awk; get a 43% speed increase on RHEL over using "-exec cat|wc -l" and a 67% increase on my Ubuntu laptop (this is with 10MB of data in 767 files).

find . -maxdepth 1 -type d|xargs du -a --max-depth=0|sort -rn|cut -d/ -f2|sed '1d'|while read i;do echo "$(du -h --max-depth=0 "$i")/";done;find . -maxdepth 1 -type f|xargs du -a|sort -rn|cut -d/ -f2|sed '$d'|while read i;do du -h "$i";done
2009-09-03 20:33:21
User: nickwe
Functions: cut du echo find read sed sort xargs

Based on the MrMerry one, just add some visuals and sort directory and files

find . -type f -exec grep -qi 'foo' {} \; -print0 | xargs -0 vim
2009-09-03 17:55:26
User: arcege
Functions: find grep xargs
Tags: vim find grep

Make sure that find does not touch anything other than regular files, and handles non-standard characters in filenames while passing to xargs.

find . -exec grep foobar /dev/null {} \; | awk -F: '{print $1}' | xargs vi
find /backup/directory -name "FILENAME_*" -mtime +15 -exec rm -vf {};
rm -vf /backup/directory/**/FILENAME_*(m+15)
find /backup/directory -name "FILENAME_*" -mtime +15 | xargs rm -vf
rmdir **/*(/^F)
find . -type d -empty -delete
2009-08-22 09:03:14
User: hemanth
Functions: find
Tags: find rmdir

You can also use, $ find . -depth -type d -exec rmdir {} \; 2>/dev/null

find / -name "*.pdf" -exec cp -t ~/Documents/PDF {} +
2009-08-18 06:11:35
Functions: cp find
Tags: find cp for

I used this to copy all PDFs recursively to a selected dir

IFS=:; find $PATH | grep pattern
2009-08-14 13:38:58
User: camspiers
Functions: find grep
Tags: bash find grep

Best to put it in a file somewhere in your path. (I call the file spath)


IFS=:; find $PATH | grep $1

Usage: $ spath php

find . -type f -printf '%20s %p\n' | sort -n | cut -b22- | tr '\n' '\000' | xargs -0 ls -laSr
2009-08-13 13:13:33
User: fsilveira
Functions: cut find ls sort tr xargs
Tags: sort find ls

This command will find the biggest files recursively under a certain directory, no matter if they are too many. If you try the regular commands ("find -type f -exec ls -laSr {} +" or "find -type f -print0 | xargs -0 ls -laSr") the sorting won't be correct because of command line arguments limit.

This command won't use command line arguments to sort the files and will display the sorted list correctly.

mate - `find * -type f -regex 'REGEX_A' | grep -v -E 'REGEX_B'`
2009-08-12 22:24:08
User: irae
Functions: grep

This does the following:

1 - Search recursively for files whose names match REGEX_A

2 - From this list exclude files whose names match REGEX_B

3 - Open this as a group in textmate (in the sidebar)

And now you can use Command+Shift+F to use textmate own find and replace on this particular group of files.

For advanced regex in the first expression you can use -regextype posix-egrep like this:

mate - `find * -type f -regextype posix-egrep -regex 'REGEX_A' | grep -v -E 'REGEX_B'`

Warning: this is not ment to open files or folders with space os special characters in the filename. If anyone knows a solution to that, tell me so I can fix the line.

find . -name "*.[ch]" | xargs grep "TODO"
find $MAILDIR/ -type f -printf '%T@ %p\n' | sort --reverse | sed -e '{ 1,100d; s/[0-9]*\.[0-9]* \(.*\)/\1/g }' | xargs -i sh -c "cat {}&&rm -f {}" | gzip -c >>ARCHIVE.gz
rm -d **/*(/^F)
2009-08-06 21:41:19
User: claytron
Functions: rm
Tags: find zsh glob

This command uses the recursive glob and glob qualifiers from zsh. This will remove all the empty directories from the current directory down.

The **/* recurses down through all the files and directories

The glob qualifiers are added into the parenthesis. The / means only directories. The F means 'full' directories, and the ^ reverses that to mean non-full directories. For more info on these qualifiers see the zsh docs: http://zsh.dotsrc.org/Doc/Release/Expansion.html#SEC87

find . -depth -type d -empty -exec rmdir -v {} +
2009-08-05 13:48:13
User: syssyphus
Functions: find rmdir
Tags: find

this will show the names of the deleted directories, and will delete directories that only no files, only empty directories.

find . -iname '*filename*.doc' | { while read line; do antiword "$line"; done; } | grep -C4 search_term;
2009-07-28 15:49:58
User: Ben
Functions: find grep read

Find Word docs by filename in the current directory, convert each of them to plain text using antiword (taking care of spaces in filenames), then grep for a search term in the particular file.

(Of course, it's better to save your data as plain text to make for easier grepping, but that's not always possible.)

Requires antiword. Or you can modify it to use catdoc instead.

du -ms * | sort -nk1
find . -not \( -name .svn -prune \) -type f -print0 | xargs --null grep <searchTerm>
2009-07-08 20:08:05
User: qazwart
Functions: find grep xargs
Tags: find xargs grep

By putting the "-not \( -name .svn -prune \)" in the very front of the "find" command, you eliminate the .svn directories in your find command itself. No need to grep them out.

You can even create an alias for this command:

alias svn_find="find . -not \( -name .svn -prune \)"

Now you can do things like

svn_find -mtime -3
find / -type f -size +1000000000c
du -ms * .[^.]*| sort -nk1
2009-07-01 13:38:13
User: ioggstream
Functions: du sort

using mb it's still readable;) a symbol variation

$ du -ms {,.[^.]}* | sort -nk1

function duf { du -k $@ | sort -rn | perl -ne '($s,$f)=split(/\t/,$_,2);for(qw(K M G T)){if($s<1024){$x=($s<10?"%.1f":"%3d");printf("$x$_\t%s",$s,$f);last};$s/=1024}' }
find . -depth -type d -exec du -s {} \; | sort -k1nr
2009-06-23 20:52:35
User: mohan43u
Functions: du find sort
Tags: sort find du

somewhat faster version to see the size of our directories. Size will be in Kilo Bytes. to view smallest first change '-k1nr' to '-k1n'.