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FIND(1) BSD General Commands Manual FIND(1)
 
NNAAMMEE
ffiinndd -- walk a file hierarchy
 
SSYYNNOOPPSSIISS
ffiinndd [--HH | --LL | --PP] [--EEXXddssxx] [--ff _p_a_t_h] _p_a_t_h _._._. [_e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n]
ffiinndd [--HH | --LL | --PP] [--EEXXddssxx] --ff _p_a_t_h [_p_a_t_h _._._.] [_e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n]
 
DDEESSCCRRIIPPTTIIOONN
The ffiinndd utility recursively descends the directory tree for each _p_a_t_h
listed, evaluating an _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n (composed of the ``primaries'' and
``operands'' listed below) in terms of each file in the tree.
 
The options are as follows:
 
--EE Interpret regular expressions followed by --rreeggeexx and --iirreeggeexx pri-
maries as extended (modern) regular expressions rather than basic
regular expressions (BRE's). The re_format(7) manual page fully
describes both formats.
 
--HH Cause the file information and file type (see stat(2)) returned
for each symbolic link specified on the command line to be those
of the file referenced by the link, not the link itself. If the
referenced file does not exist, the file information and type
will be for the link itself. File information of all symbolic
links not on the command line is that of the link itself.
 
--LL Cause the file information and file type (see stat(2)) returned
for each symbolic link to be those of the file referenced by the
link, not the link itself. If the referenced file does not
exist, the file information and type will be for the link itself.
 
This option is equivalent to the deprecated --ffoollllooww primary.
 
--PP Cause the file information and file type (see stat(2)) returned
for each symbolic link to be those of the link itself. This is
the default.
 
--XX Permit ffiinndd to be safely used in conjunction with xargs(1). If a
file name contains any of the delimiting characters used by
xargs(1), a diagnostic message is displayed on standard error,
and the file is skipped. The delimiting characters include sin-
gle (`` ' '') and double (`` " '') quotes, backslash (``\''),
space, tab and newline characters.
 
However, you may wish to consider the --pprriinntt00 primary in conjunc-
tion with ``xxaarrggss --00'' as an effective alternative.
 
--dd Cause ffiinndd to perform a depth-first traversal, i.e., directories
are visited in post-order and all entries in a directory will be
acted on before the directory itself. By default, ffiinndd visits
directories in pre-order, i.e., before their contents. Note, the
default is _n_o_t a breadth-first traversal.
 
This option is equivalent to the --ddeepptthh primary of IEEE Std
1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1''). The --dd option can be useful when ffiinndd
is used with cpio(1) to process files that are contained in
directories with unusual permissions. It ensures that you have
write permission while you are placing files in a directory, then
sets the directory's permissions as the last thing.
 
--ff Specify a file hierarchy for ffiinndd to traverse. File hierarchies
may also be specified as the operands immediately following the
options.
 
--ss Cause ffiinndd to traverse the file hierarchies in lexicographical
order, i.e., alphabetical order within each directory. Note:
`find -s' and `find | sort' may give different results.
 
--xx Prevent ffiinndd from descending into directories that have a device
number different than that of the file from which the descent
began.
 
This option is equivalent to the deprecated --xxddeevv primary.
 
PPRRIIMMAARRIIEESS
--BBmmiinn _n
True if the difference between the time of a file's inode cre-
ation and the time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full
minute, is _n minutes.
 
--BBnneewweerr _f_i_l_e
Same as --nneewweerrBBmm.
 
--BBttiimmee _n[ssmmhhddww]
If no units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the time of a file's inode creation and the
time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full 24-hour
period, is _n 24-hour periods.
 
If units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the time of a file's inode creation and the
time ffiinndd was started is exactly _n units. Please refer to the
--aattiimmee primary description for information on supported time
units.
 
--aammiinn _n
True if the difference between the file last access time and the
time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full minute, is _n
minutes.
 
--aanneewweerr _f_i_l_e
Same as --nneewweerraamm.
 
--aattiimmee _n[ssmmhhddww]
If no units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the file last access time and the time ffiinndd
was started, rounded up to the next full 24-hour period, is _n
24-hour periods.
 
If units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the file last access time and the time ffiinndd
was started is exactly _n units. Possible time units are as fol-
lows:
 
ss second
mm minute (60 seconds)
hh hour (60 minutes)
dd day (24 hours)
ww week (7 days)
 
Any number of units may be combined in one --aattiimmee argument, for
example, ``-atime -1h30m''. Units are probably only useful when
used in conjunction with the ++ or -- modifier.
 
--ccmmiinn _n
True if the difference between the time of last change of file
status information and the time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to
the next full minute, is _n minutes.
 
--ccnneewweerr _f_i_l_e
Same as --nneewweerrccmm.
 
--ccttiimmee _n[ssmmhhddww]
If no units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the time of last change of file status infor-
mation and the time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full
24-hour period, is _n 24-hour periods.
 
If units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the time of last change of file status infor-
mation and the time ffiinndd was started is exactly _n units. Please
refer to the --aattiimmee primary description for information on sup-
ported time units.
 
--dd Same as ddeepptthh. GNU find implements this as a primary in mistaken
emulation of FreeBSD find(1).
 
--ddeelleettee
Delete found files and/or directories. Always returns true.
This executes from the current working directory as ffiinndd recurses
down the tree. It will not attempt to delete a filename with a
``_/'' character in its pathname relative to ``_.'' for security
reasons. Depth-first traversal processing is implied by this
option.
 
--ddeepptthh Always true; same as the --dd option.
 
--ddeepptthh _n
True if the depth of the file relative to the starting point of
the traversal is _n.
 
--eemmppttyy True if the current file or directory is empty.
 
--eexxeecc _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] ;
True if the program named _u_t_i_l_i_t_y returns a zero value as its
exit status. Optional _a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t_s may be passed to the utility.
The expression must be terminated by a semicolon (``;''). If you
invoke ffiinndd from a shell you may need to quote the semicolon if
the shell would otherwise treat it as a control operator. If the
string ``{}'' appears anywhere in the utility name or the argu-
ments it is replaced by the pathname of the current file.
_U_t_i_l_i_t_y will be executed from the directory from which ffiinndd was
executed. _U_t_i_l_i_t_y and _a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t_s are not subject to the further
expansion of shell patterns and constructs.
 
--eexxeecc _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] {} +
Same as --eexxeecc, except that ``{}'' is replaced with as many path-
names as possible for each invocation of _u_t_i_l_i_t_y. This behaviour
is similar to that of xargs(1).
 
--eexxeeccddiirr _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] ;
The --eexxeeccddiirr primary is identical to the --eexxeecc primary with the
exception that _u_t_i_l_i_t_y will be executed from the directory that
holds the current file. The filename substituted for the string
``{}'' is not qualified.
 
--eexxeeccddiirr _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] {} +
Same as --eexxeeccddiirr, except that ``{}'' is replaced with as many
pathnames as possible for each invocation of _u_t_i_l_i_t_y. This be-
haviour is similar to that of xargs(1).
 
--ffllaaggss [--|++]_f_l_a_g_s,_n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s
The flags are specified using symbolic names (see chflags(1)).
Those with the "no" prefix (except "nodump") are said to be
_n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s. Flags in _f_l_a_g_s are checked to be set, and flags in
_n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s are checked to be not set. Note that this is different
from --ppeerrmm, which only allows the user to specify mode bits that
are set.
 
If flags are preceded by a dash (``-''), this primary evaluates
to true if at least all of the bits in _f_l_a_g_s and none of the bits
in _n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s are set in the file's flags bits. If flags are pre-
ceded by a plus (``+''), this primary evaluates to true if any of
the bits in _f_l_a_g_s is set in the file's flags bits, or any of the
bits in _n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s is not set in the file's flags bits. Otherwise,
this primary evaluates to true if the bits in _f_l_a_g_s exactly match
the file's flags bits, and none of the _f_l_a_g_s bits match those of
_n_o_t_f_l_a_g_s.
 
--ffssttyyppee _t_y_p_e
True if the file is contained in a file system of type _t_y_p_e. The
sysctl(8) command can be used to find out the types of file sys-
tems that are available on the system:
 
sysctl vfs
 
In addition, there are two pseudo-types, ``local'' and
``rdonly''. The former matches any file system physically
mounted on the system where the ffiinndd is being executed and the
latter matches any file system which is mounted read-only.
 
--ggiidd _g_n_a_m_e
The same thing as _-_g_r_o_u_p _g_n_a_m_e for compatibility with GNU find.
GNU find imposes a restriction that _g_n_a_m_e is numeric, while
find(1) does not.
 
--ggrroouupp _g_n_a_m_e
True if the file belongs to the group _g_n_a_m_e. If _g_n_a_m_e is numeric
and there is no such group name, then _g_n_a_m_e is treated as a group
ID.
 
--iiggnnoorree__rreeaaddddiirr__rraaccee
This option is for GNU find compatibility and is ignored.
 
--iillnnaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
Like --llnnaammee, but the match is case insensitive. This is a GNU
find extension.
 
--iinnaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
Like --nnaammee, but the match is case insensitive.
 
--iinnuumm _n
True if the file has inode number _n.
 
--iippaatthh _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
Like --ppaatthh, but the match is case insensitive.
 
--iirreeggeexx _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
Like --rreeggeexx, but the match is case insensitive.
 
--iiwwhhoolleennaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
The same thing as --iippaatthh, for GNU find compatibility.
 
--lliinnkkss _n
True if the file has _n links.
 
--llnnaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
Like --nnaammee, but the contents of the symbolic link are matched
instead of the file name. This is a GNU find extension.
 
--llss This primary always evaluates to true. The following information
for the current file is written to standard output: its inode
number, size in 512-byte blocks, file permissions, number of hard
links, owner, group, size in bytes, last modification time, and
pathname. If the file is a block or character special file, the
major and minor numbers will be displayed instead of the size in
bytes. If the file is a symbolic link, the pathname of the
linked-to file will be displayed preceded by ``->''. The format
is identical to that produced by ``llss --ddggiillss''.
 
--mmaaxxddeepptthh _n
Always true; descend at most _n directory levels below the command
line arguments. If any --mmaaxxddeepptthh primary is specified, it
applies to the entire expression even if it would not normally be
evaluated. ``--mmaaxxddeepptthh 0'' limits the whole search to the com-
mand line arguments.
 
--mmiinnddeepptthh _n
Always true; do not apply any tests or actions at levels less
than _n. If any --mmiinnddeepptthh primary is specified, it applies to the
entire expression even if it would not normally be evaluated.
``--mmiinnddeepptthh 1'' processes all but the command line arguments.
 
--mmmmiinn _n
True if the difference between the file last modification time
and the time ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full
minute, is _n minutes.
 
--mmnneewweerr _f_i_l_e
Same as --nneewweerr.
 
--mmoouunntt The same thing as --xxddeevv, for GNU find compatibility.
 
--mmttiimmee _n[ssmmhhddww]
If no units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the file last modification time and the time
ffiinndd was started, rounded up to the next full 24-hour period, is
_n 24-hour periods.
 
If units are specified, this primary evaluates to true if the
difference between the file last modification time and the time
ffiinndd was started is exactly _n units. Please refer to the --aattiimmee
primary description for information on supported time units.
 
--nnaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
True if the last component of the pathname being examined matches
_p_a_t_t_e_r_n. Special shell pattern matching characters (``['',
``]'', ``*'', and ``?'') may be used as part of _p_a_t_t_e_r_n. These
characters may be matched explicitly by escaping them with a
backslash (``\'').
 
--nneewweerr _f_i_l_e
True if the current file has a more recent last modification time
than _f_i_l_e.
 
--nneewweerr_X_Y _f_i_l_e
True if the current file has a more recent last access time
(_X=aa), inode creation time (_X=BB), change time (_X=cc), or modifica-
tion time (_X=mm) than the last access time (_Y=aa), inode creation
time (_Y=BB), change time (_Y=cc), or modification time (_Y=mm) of
_f_i_l_e. In addition, if _Y=tt, then _f_i_l_e is instead interpreted as a
direct date specification of the form understood by cvs(1). Note
that --nneewweerrmmmm is equivalent to --nneewweerr.
 
--nnooggrroouupp
True if the file belongs to an unknown group.
 
--nnooiiggnnoorree__rreeaaddddiirr__rraaccee
This option is for GNU find compatibility and is ignored.
 
--nnoolleeaaff
This option is for GNU find compatibility. In GNU find it dis-
ables an optimization not relevant to find(1), so it is ignored.
 
--nnoouusseerr
True if the file belongs to an unknown user.
 
--ookk _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] ;
The --ookk primary is identical to the --eexxeecc primary with the excep-
tion that ffiinndd requests user affirmation for the execution of the
_u_t_i_l_i_t_y by printing a message to the terminal and reading a
response. If the response is not affirmative (`y' in the
``POSIX'' locale), the command is not executed and the value of
the --ookk expression is false.
 
--ookkddiirr _u_t_i_l_i_t_y [_a_r_g_u_m_e_n_t _._._.] ;
The --ookkddiirr primary is identical to the --eexxeeccddiirr primary with the
same exception as described for the --ookk primary.
 
--ppaatthh _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
True if the pathname being examined matches _p_a_t_t_e_r_n. Special
shell pattern matching characters (``['', ``]'', ``*'', and
``?'') may be used as part of _p_a_t_t_e_r_n. These characters may be
matched explicitly by escaping them with a backslash (``\'').
Slashes (``/'') are treated as normal characters and do not have
to be matched explicitly.
 
--ppeerrmm [--|++]_m_o_d_e
The _m_o_d_e may be either symbolic (see chmod(1)) or an octal num-
ber. If the _m_o_d_e is symbolic, a starting value of zero is
assumed and the _m_o_d_e sets or clears permissions without regard to
the process' file mode creation mask. If the _m_o_d_e is octal, only
bits 07777 (S_ISUID | S_ISGID | S_ISTXT | S_IRWXU | S_IRWXG |
S_IRWXO) of the file's mode bits participate in the comparison.
If the _m_o_d_e is preceded by a dash (``-''), this primary evaluates
to true if at least all of the bits in the _m_o_d_e are set in the
file's mode bits. If the _m_o_d_e is preceded by a plus (``+''),
this primary evaluates to true if any of the bits in the _m_o_d_e are
set in the file's mode bits. Otherwise, this primary evaluates
to true if the bits in the _m_o_d_e exactly match the file's mode
bits. Note, the first character of a symbolic mode may not be a
dash (``-'').
 
--pprriinntt This primary always evaluates to true. It prints the pathname of
the current file to standard output. If none of --eexxeecc, --llss,
--pprriinntt, --pprriinntt00, or --ookk is specified, the given expression shall
be effectively replaced by (( _g_i_v_e_n _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n )) --pprriinntt.
 
--pprriinntt00
This primary always evaluates to true. It prints the pathname of
the current file to standard output, followed by an ASCII NUL
character (character code 0).
 
--pprruunnee This primary always evaluates to true. It causes ffiinndd to not
descend into the current file. Note, the --pprruunnee primary has no
effect if the --dd option was specified.
 
--rreeggeexx _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
True if the whole path of the file matches _p_a_t_t_e_r_n using regular
expression. To match a file named ``_._/_f_o_o_/_x_y_z_z_y'', you can use
the regular expression ``.*/[xyz]*'' or ``.*/foo/.*'', but not
``xyzzy'' or ``/foo/''.
 
--ssaammeeffiillee _n_a_m_e
True if the file is a hard link to _n_a_m_e. If the command option
--LL is specified, it is also true if the file is a symbolic link
and points to _n_a_m_e.
 
--ssiizzee _n[cckkMMGGTTPP]
True if the file's size, rounded up, in 512-byte blocks is _n. If
_n is followed by a cc, then the primary is true if the file's size
is _n bytes (characters). Similarly if _n is followed by a scale
indicator then the file's size is compared to _n scaled as:
 
kk kilobytes (1024 bytes)
MM megabytes (1024 kilobytes)
GG gigabytes (1024 megabytes)
TT terabytes (1024 gigabytes)
PP petabytes (1024 terabytes)
 
--ttyyppee _t
True if the file is of the specified type. Possible file types
are as follows:
 
bb block special
cc character special
dd directory
ff regular file
ll symbolic link
pp FIFO
ss socket
 
--uuiidd _u_n_a_m_e
The same thing as _-_u_s_e_r _u_n_a_m_e for compatibility with GNU find.
GNU find imposes a restriction that _u_n_a_m_e is numeric, while
find(1) does not.
 
--uusseerr _u_n_a_m_e
True if the file belongs to the user _u_n_a_m_e. If _u_n_a_m_e is numeric
and there is no such user name, then _u_n_a_m_e is treated as a user
ID.
 
--wwhhoolleennaammee _p_a_t_t_e_r_n
The same thing as --ppaatthh, for GNU find compatibility.
 
All primaries which take a numeric argument allow the number to be pre-
ceded by a plus sign (``+'') or a minus sign (``-''). A preceding plus
sign means ``more than n'', a preceding minus sign means ``less than n''
and neither means ``exactly n''.
 
OOPPEERRAATTOORRSS
The primaries may be combined using the following operators. The opera-
tors are listed in order of decreasing precedence.
 
(( _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n ))
This evaluates to true if the parenthesized expression evaluates
to true.
 
!! _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n
--nnoott _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n
This is the unary NOT operator. It evaluates to true if the
expression is false.
 
--ffaallssee Always false.
--ttrruuee Always true.
 
_e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n --aanndd _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n
_e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n
The --aanndd operator is the logical AND operator. As it is implied
by the juxtaposition of two expressions it does not have to be
specified. The expression evaluates to true if both expressions
are true. The second expression is not evaluated if the first
expression is false.
 
_e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n --oorr _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n
The --oorr operator is the logical OR operator. The expression
evaluates to true if either the first or the second expression is
true. The second expression is not evaluated if the first
expression is true.
 
All operands and primaries must be separate arguments to ffiinndd. Primaries
which themselves take arguments expect each argument to be a separate
argument to ffiinndd.
 
EENNVVIIRROONNMMEENNTT
The LANG, LC_ALL, LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES and LC_TIME environ-
ment variables affect the execution of the ffiinndd utility as described in
environ(7).
 
EEXXAAMMPPLLEESS
The following examples are shown as given to the shell:
 
find / \! -name "*.c" -print
Print out a list of all the files whose names do not end in _._c.
 
find / -newer ttt -user wnj -print
Print out a list of all the files owned by user ``wnj'' that are
newer than the file _t_t_t.
 
find / \! \( -newer ttt -user wnj \) -print
Print out a list of all the files which are not both newer than
_t_t_t and owned by ``wnj''.
 
find / \( -newer ttt -or -user wnj \) -print
Print out a list of all the files that are either owned by
``wnj'' or that are newer than _t_t_t.
 
find / -newerct '1 minute ago' -print
Print out a list of all the files whose inode change time is more
recent than the current time minus one minute.
 
find / -type f -exec echo {} \;
Use the echo(1) command to print out a list of all the files.
 
find -L /usr/ports/packages -type l -delete
Delete all broken symbolic links in _/_u_s_r_/_p_o_r_t_s_/_p_a_c_k_a_g_e_s.
 
find /usr/src -name CVS -prune -o -depth +6 -print
Find files and directories that are at least seven levels deep in
the working directory _/_u_s_r_/_s_r_c.
 
find /usr/src -name CVS -prune -o -mindepth 7 -print
Is not equivalent to the previous example, since --pprruunnee is not
evaluated below level seven.
 
CCOOMMPPAATTIIBBIILLIITTYY
The --ffoollllooww primary is deprecated; the --LL option should be used instead.
See the _S_T_A_N_D_A_R_D_S section below for details.
 
SSEEEE AALLSSOO
chflags(1), chmod(1), cvs(1), locate(1), whereis(1), which(1), xargs(1),
stat(2), fts(3), getgrent(3), getpwent(3), strmode(3), re_format(7),
symlink(7)
 
SSTTAANNDDAARRDDSS
The ffiinndd utility syntax is a superset of the syntax specified by the IEEE
Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'') standard.
 
All the single character options except --HH and --LL as well as --aammiinn,
--aanneewweerr, --ccmmiinn, --ccnneewweerr, --ddeelleettee, --eemmppttyy, --ffssttyyppee, --iinnaammee, --iinnuumm,
--iirreeggeexx, --llss, --mmaaxxddeepptthh, --mmiinnddeepptthh, --mmmmiinn, --ppaatthh, --pprriinntt00, --rreeggeexx and all
of the --BB** birthtime related primaries are extensions to IEEE Std
1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').
 
Historically, the --dd, --LL and --xx options were implemented using the pri-
maries --ddeepptthh, --ffoollllooww, and --xxddeevv. These primaries always evaluated to
true. As they were really global variables that took effect before the
traversal began, some legal expressions could have unexpected results.
An example is the expression --pprriinntt --oo --ddeepptthh. As --pprriinntt always evalu-
ates to true, the standard order of evaluation implies that --ddeepptthh would
never be evaluated. This is not the case.
 
The operator --oorr was implemented as --oo, and the operator --aanndd was imple-
mented as --aa.
 
Historic implementations of the --eexxeecc and --ookk primaries did not replace
the string ``{}'' in the utility name or the utility arguments if it had
preceding or following non-whitespace characters. This version replaces
it no matter where in the utility name or arguments it appears.
 
The --EE option was inspired by the equivalent grep(1) and sed(1) options.
 
HHIISSTTOORRYY
A ffiinndd command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.
 
BBUUGGSS
The special characters used by ffiinndd are also special characters to many
shell programs. In particular, the characters ``*'', ``['', ``]'',
``?'', ``('', ``)'', ``!'', ``\'' and ``;'' may have to be escaped from
the shell.
 
As there is no delimiter separating options and file names or file names
and the _e_x_p_r_e_s_s_i_o_n, it is difficult to specify files named _-_x_d_e_v or _!.
These problems are handled by the --ff option and the getopt(3) ``----'' con-
struct.
 
The --ddeelleettee primary does not interact well with other options that cause
the file system tree traversal options to be changed.
 
The --mmiinnddeepptthh and --mmaaxxddeepptthh primaries are actually global options (as
documented above). They should probably be replaced by options which
look like options.
 
BSD February 24, 2008 BSD

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