How to Find Files and Folders in Linux

This command technically walks through directories tree on the file system. It can be used to find directory and file matched with RegEx patterns.

General syntax for find command:

$ find [OPTIONS] [PATH...] [EXPRESSION]
Search for specific file in a directory
find ./ExampleDir -name example.txt 

With the -name parameter, this command will attempt to search for a example.txt within the ExampleDir directory; and if found, will return path to the file.

search file in dir
Find and list files of same extension
find ./dirname -name *.txt

This command will search, within the ExampleDir directory, all files ending with the extension .txt. If found, each result will be returned in a new line.

search list same extension
Find and list empty files and empty sub-directories
find ./ExampleDir -empty

This command, with the -empty parameter, will find and list all empty files and empty sub-folders inside the ExampleDir folder.

Definition of empty file being 0 bytes filesize, and empty folder being no files or files with 0 bytes.

find empty file dir
Find and list files that contain specific text
find ./ExampleDir -type f -name "*.txt" -exec grep 'Example'  {} \;

This command searches for the word/string "Example" inside files with the extension .txt inside ExampleDir dierctory.

find text
Find and list files and sub-directories own by specific user
find ./ExampleDir -user ubuntu

This command, with the -user parameter, will find files and sub-directories owned by Ubuntu user in ExampleDir directory. If found, the filename(s) will be returned.

In the following sample ls -l result:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 newone ubuntu 20 Jan 27 06:24 example.txt

newone represents group name, and ubuntu is the user.

find list files dir user
Find and list files and sub-directories own by specific group
find ./ExampleDir -group ubuntu

This command, with the -group paramter, will find all files and sub-directories owned by Ubuntu group in ExampleDir directory. If found, the filename(s) will be returned.

find list files dir group
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