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

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Terminate a find after the first match is found.

Terminal - Terminate a find after the first match is found.
/bin/sh -c 'find . -name FILENAME -print -exec kill $$ \;'
2011-07-20 16:51:18
User: richardneish
Functions: kill
0
Terminate a find after the first match is found.

If you know that you want only the first match from a 'find' command, this will terminate the find as soon as a match is found.

Recent versions of GNU find have the -quit parameter, which does the same thing as this, so this is only useful if you are stuck with an older version of find. or need to write a backward portable script.

I can't take credit for this - I saw it on a chat room where I work and thought it was useful, so am sharing it here both for others, and in case I want to remember it in the future.

Alternatives

There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

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What others think

You know, piping the find output through `head -1` will automatically send a SIGPIPE to the find instance once head terminates, effectively killing find after the first match.

find . -name <FILENAME> |head -1
Comment by h3xx 263 weeks and 1 day ago

To use `head -1` is not right. Only some kind of pipe input buffer is filled, the process on the right hand of the pipe will receive the input data, and a first line of output from the left hand process is obviously not enough to fill the buffer.

Comment by gfdice 143 weeks and 3 days ago

Your point of view

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