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Old 07-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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Help with the find command

Morning Everyone,

I'm hoping to get some quick help, I've tried to look online and searched the site but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. What I need is a command to find all executables that contain a certain letter in their filename.

For instance, after creating three files: a.file A.file and file.a and making them executable, I need to do a find command to find those three executable files.

More files could be found, but I need to be able to pull those three in one command. Does that make sense? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I haven't mastered the command-line at all.

Old 07-29-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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find . -iname "*a*" -executable -type f
The find command is quite powerful; if you type 'man find' this will give you a description of the many parameters.

The example above looks in the current directory '.' (and all subdirectories) for a file with an 'a' in it (-name "*a*"), which has the execute permission set (-executable), and which is of type file (-type f). The reason for restricting the type is because directories also have execute permission, for reasons I won't go into here.

At a later point if you need instead to search by files by content rather than external attributes, you would make use of a command line program called 'grep'.

Last edited by neonsignal; 07-29-2009 at 11:35 AM.
Old 07-29-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. That is what I needed. I could get the -name part, but the executable switch was tripping me up. I really would love to learn a lot more about Linux/UNIX and eventually feel comfortable enough to replace Windows with it on a laptop I have, and maybe eventually on the servers at work. But, that will be a ways down the road for me right now. But, it's a destination I would love to get to.
Old 07-29-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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The GNU Info document Finding Files is well worth reading. IMHO it explains find a little better than the man page. If the Info documentation is not already installed, look for it in your package manager.


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