Science and technology

How to search out recordsdata in Linux

If you are a Windows person or a non-power-user of OSX, you in all probability use a GUI to search out recordsdata. You might also discover the interface restricted, irritating, or each, and have discovered to excel at organizing issues and remembering the precise order of your recordsdata. You can try this in Linux, too—however you do not have to.

One of the most effective issues about Linux is that it provides quite a lot of methods to do issues. You can open any file supervisor and ctrl+f, you should utilize this system you’re in to open recordsdata manually, or you may merely begin typing letters and it will filter the present listing itemizing.

But what if you do not know the place your file is and do not wish to search your entire disk? Linux is well-tooled for this and quite a lot of different use-cases.

Finding program places by command title

The Linux file system can appear daunting in the event you’re used to placing issues wherever you want. For me, one of many hardest issues to get used to was discovering the place packages are alleged to stay.

For instance, which bash will often return /bin/bash, however in the event you obtain a program and it does not seem in your menus, the which command is usually a useful gizmo.

An analogous utility is the find command, which I discover helpful for locating configuration recordsdata. I do not like typing in program names as a result of easy ones like find php usually supply many outcomes that have to be filtered additional.

For extra details about find and which, see the man pages:


The discover utility provides rather more superior performance. Below is an instance from a script I’ve put in on a lot of servers that I administer to make sure that a particular sample of file (also called a glob) exists for under 5 days and all recordsdata older than which can be deleted. (Since its final modification, a decimal is used to account for as much as 240 minutes distinction.)

discover ./backup/core-files*.tar.gz -mtime +four.9 -exec rm  ;

The discover utility has many superior use-cases, however commonest is executing instructions on outcomes with out chaining and filtering recordsdata by kind, creation, and modification date.

Another attention-grabbing use of discover is to search out all recordsdata with executable permissions. This will help be certain that no one is putting in bitcoin miners or botnets in your costly servers.

discover / -perm /+x

For extra data on discover, see the man web page utilizing man discover.


Want to discover a file by its contents? Linux has it coated. You can use many Linux utilities to effectively seek for recordsdata that match a sample, however grep is one which I take advantage of usually.

Suppose you’ve got an utility that is delivering error messages with a code reference and stack hint. You discover these in your logs. Grepping just isn’t at all times the go-to, however I at all times grep -R if the problem is with a equipped worth.

An growing variety of IDEs are implementing discover features, however in the event you’re accessing a distant system or for no matter purpose haven’t got a GUI, or if you wish to iterate in-place, then use: grep -R or on programs supporting egrep alias; simply add -e flag to command egrep -r .

I used this method when patching the dhcpcd5 in Raspbian final yr so I might proceed to function a community entry level on newer Debian releases from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

What suggestions enable you to seek for recordsdata extra effectively on Linux?

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