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Cover image for Living in the Shell #10; find (File/Directory Search) (Part 2)
Babak K. Shandiz
Babak K. Shandiz

Posted on • Originally published at babakks.github.io on

Living in the Shell #10; find (File/Directory Search) (Part 2)

find 🔍

Finds files matching given criteria.

Detailed result -ls

find /home/babak -name "*bash*" -ls
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11053679      4 -rw-r--r--   1 babak    babak        3772 Nov 25 12:45 /home/babak/.bashrc
11010465     28 -rw-------   1 babak    babak       24763 Nov 16 12:26 /home/babak/.bash_history

Evaluate by executing a command on files -exec

Example 1: looking for a word within files

find ~ -name '*.txt' -exec grep -q "hello" {} \; -print
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  • Finds all .txt files that contain word "hello" in their content.
  • The -print option is necessary to print file names.
  • {} is the placeholder for the file path.
  • \; indicates the end of the command string.

Example 2: looking for damages ZIP archives

find ~ -name '*.zip' -not -exec zip -qT {} \; -print
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  • zip -qT quietly checks ZIP archive integrity.
  • -not negates the logical expression.

Example 3: detect unformatted code files in a Python codebase

find . -type f -name '*.py' -not -path '*/venv/*' -not -path '*/__pycache__/*' -not -exec sh -c 'python3 -m autopep8 {} >/dev/null' \; -print
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  • autopep8 applies Python PEP8 standard formatting.
  • >/dev/null avoids cluttered/unnecessary output.
  • -not -path '*/venv/*' and -not -path '*/__pycache__/*' exclude venv and __pycache__ directories.

Example 4: detect unformatted code files in a JavaScript codebase

find . -type f -name '*.js' -not -exec sh -c 'eslint --no-eslintrc {} >/dev/null' \; -print
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  • eslint is the ESLint CLI.
  • --no-eslintrc is for safety, to eliminate the need for a .eslintrc file.

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