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.

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



Psst. Open beta.

Wow, didn't really expect you to read this far down. The latest iteration of the site is in open beta. It's a gentle open beta-- not in prime-time just yet. It's being hosted over at UpGuard (link) and you are more than welcome to give it a shot. Couple things:

  • » The open beta is running a copy of the database that will not carry over to the final version. Don't post anything you don't mind losing.
  • » If you wish to use your user account, you will probably need to reset your password.
Your feedback is appreciated via the form on the beta page. Thanks! -Jon & CLFU Team

Commands using find from sorted by
Terminal - Commands using find - 1,080 results
find -name pom.xml | while read f; do cd $(dirname "$f"); mvn clean; cd -; done;
2015-04-15 21:24:49
User: glaudiston
Functions: cd dirname find read

this command is used to locate all pom.xml files, access the dir and do a mvn clean, but I do recommend you to disable network interfaces to not download dependencies packages to be faster.

find /PATHNAME -type l | while read nullsymlink ; do wrongpath=$(readlink "$nullsymlink") ; right=$(echo "$wrongpath" | sed s'|OLD_STRING|NEW_STRING|') ; ln -fs "$right" "$nullsymlink" ; done
2015-04-14 14:58:41
User: iDudo
Functions: echo find ln read readlink sed

After you run this script, you can check status for broken symlink with this command:

find -L . -type l

find . -type f -exec echo -n "touch -t \`echo " \; -exec echo -n {} \; -exec echo -n " | sed -E 's/.*([[:digit:]]{8})_([[:digit:]]{4})([[:digit:]]{2}).*/\1\2.\3/g'\` " \; -exec echo {} \; | sh
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 . -name '*.php' | xargs wc -l
2014-12-24 11:15:18
User: erez83
Functions: find wc xargs
Tags: count code

count all the lines of code in specific directory recursively

in this case only *.php

can be *.*

find . -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u %-9g %TY-%Tm-%Td+%Tr [%Y] %s %p\n'|sort -nrk8|head
find /srv/code -maxdepth 4 -type f -regex ".*\(\(package\|composer|npm\\|bower\)\.json\|Gemfile\|requirements\.txt\\|\.gitmodules\)"
2014-11-28 16:34:35
User: renoirb
Functions: find
Tags: bash git PHP ruby

List all dependencies manifests so you can install them.

In a scenario where you want to deploy a number of web applications and run their dependency managers, how could you run all of them in a systematic order.

One of the complexity is to ensure you get only your own top level dependencies. That way, you don recursively call development dependencies of your own dependencies.

Otherwise you might end up discovering dependency management manifests that are already been pulled by your own projects.

# Using this command

This command helps me find them and I can then run what?s required to pull them from their respective sources.

This command assumes the following:

1. Your code checkouts are in a flat repository layout (i.e. not nested).

2. Finds manifests for:

- NPM (nodejs),

- Composer (php),

- bower,

- requirements.txt (Python), and

- git submodules

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

touch -t 197001010000 ./tmp && find . -newer ./tmp && rm -f ./tmp
2014-11-18 00:29:26
User: sergeylukin
Functions: find rm touch

Sometimes you just want to operate on files that were created after specific date. This command consists of 3 commands:

- Create a dummy file with the custom date

- Find all files with "creation time" further than our custom date by using `-newer` find option. Add your crazy stuff here, like moving, deleting, printing, etc.

- Remove the dummy file

find . -name "*.pdf" -exec pdftk {} dump_data output \; | grep NumberOfPages | awk '{print $1,$2}'
2014-11-14 23:36:56
User: mtrgrrl
Functions: awk find grep

using awk, changed the line given by sucotronic in command #11733 to print the first and second columns

find ./i18n -name "*.po" | while read f; do msgfmt $f -o ${f%.po}.mo; done
2014-11-14 19:14:35
User: sergeylukin
Functions: find read

This command takes all `.po` files inside `i18n` directory and compiles them to `.mo` files with same basename

find -type f -exec ffmpeg -i "{}" "{}".mp3 \;
find . -name *.png | xargs optipng -nc -nb -o7 -full
find . -name '*.jar' | xargs -l jar vtf | grep XXX.java
find -not -empty -type f -printf "%-30s'\t\"%h/%f\"\n" | sort -rn -t$'\t' | uniq -w30 -D | cut -f 2 -d $'\t' | xargs md5sum | sort | uniq -w32 --all-repeated=separate
2014-10-19 02:00:55
User: fobos3
Functions: cut find md5sum sort uniq xargs

Finds duplicates based on MD5 sum. Compares only files with the same size. Performance improvements on:

find -not -empty -type f -printf "%s\n" | sort -rn | uniq -d | xargs -I{} -n1 find -type f -size {}c -print0 | xargs -0 md5sum | sort | uniq -w32 --all-repeated=separate

The new version takes around 3 seconds where the old version took around 17 minutes. The bottle neck in the old command was the second find. It searches for the files with the specified file size. The new version keeps the file path and size from the beginning.

find . -iname "*.mp4" -print0 | xargs -0 mv --verbose -t /media/backup/
cd tmp ; find . |cpio -o -H newc| gzip > ../initrd.gz
2014-09-24 14:07:54
User: akiuni
Functions: cd cpio find gzip

This commands compresses the "tmp" directory into an initrd file.

for file in $(find /var/backup -name "backup*" -type f |sort -r | tail -n +10); do rm -f $file; done ; tar czf /var/backup/backup-system-$(date "+\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M-\%N").tgz --exclude /home/dummy /etc /home /opt 2>&- && echo "system backup ok"
2014-09-24 14:04:11
User: akiuni
Functions: date echo file find rm sort tail tar
Tags: backup Linux cron

this command can be added to crontab so as to execute a nightly backup of directories and store only the 10 last backup files.

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

find -type f -exec ffprobe -i "{}" -show_entries format=duration -v quiet -of csv="p=0" \; | paste -sd+ | bc
2014-08-29 23:45:09
User: Hype
Functions: find paste

Recursive. Ignores non-media files. Requires ffprobe, paste, and bc.

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.

find . -type d -print0 | while read -d $'\0' dir; do cd "$dir"; echo " process $dir"; find . -maxdepth 1 -name "*.ogg.mp3" -exec rename 's/.ogg.mp3/.mp3/' {} \; ; cd -; done
2014-08-25 11:28:43
Functions: cd echo find read rename

This is probably overkill, but I have some issues when the directories have spaces in their names.


find . -type d -print0 | while read -d $'\0' dir; do xxx; done

loops over all the subdirectories in this place, ignoring the white spaces (to some extend).

cd "$dir"; echo " process $dir"; cd -;

goes to the directory and back. It also prints some info to check the progress.

find . -maxdepth 1 -name "*.ogg.mp3" -exec rename 's/.ogg.mp3/.mp3/' {} \;

renames the file within the current directory.

The whole should work with directories and file names that include white spaces.

find /target_directory -type f -mmin -60 --mindepth 2
2014-08-09 06:59:34
User: vikranth
Functions: find

To search for files in /target_directory and all its sub-directories, that have been modified in the last 60 minutes:

find /target_directory -type f -mmin -60

To search for files in /target_directory and all its sub-directories, that have been modified in the last 2 days:

find /target_directory -type f -mtime -2

To search for files in /target_directory and all its sub-directories no more than 3 levels deep, that have been modified in the last 2 days:

find /target_directory -type f -mtime -2 -depth -3