Finding what you’re looking for on Linux

Finding what you’re looking for on Linux

It isn’t hard to find what you’re looking for on a Linux system – a file or a command, but there are a lot of ways to go looking.

find

The most obvious is undoubtedly the find command and find has become easier to use than it was years ago. It used to require a starting location for your search but, these days, you can also use find with just a file name or regular expression if you’re willing to confine your search to the local directory.

$ find e*
empty
examples.desktop

In this way, it works much like the ls command and isn’t doing much of a search.

For more relevant searches, find requires a starting point and some criteria for your search (unless you simply want it to provide a recursive listing of that starting point’s directory. The command find . -type f will recursively list all regular files starting with the current directory while find ~nemo -type f -empty will find empty files in Nemo’s home directory.

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