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Old 03-24-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
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Talking How to Find Files on Linux With 3 Easy Commands

Hi everyone! I have found this post (below) about how to find files on Linux, but I wanted to know if there are any other techniques that will work? Thanks in advance.
Old 03-24-2015, 10:27 AM   #2
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Techniques that will work for what? What are you trying to do, exactly, that which/locate/find can't handle it?
Old 03-24-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
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Welcome to LQ!


Have a nice time.
Old 03-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to LQ. Those are great fundamental commands which(1) will help you locate(1) whereis(1) there are files you intend to find(1)

Also the links lead to which I find is a great resource for commands and library function references.

Other stuff as you likely have already experienced are: cd, ls, grep, pwd, man.

You may want to just look up "Linux command line" references via web search and browse some of the advice and tips.
Old 03-24-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tipz!
Old 03-25-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. is something I didn't know anything about but looks like a great resource.
Old 03-26-2015, 05:24 AM   #7
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Broadly speaking
  • locate is dumb, but quick and fuss free
  • find is cleverer, can do tricks that locate couldn't even think of, but has a, err, learning curve, and can be more fussy; is also slow if you are using it on a big disk volume

The other basic point that I'd make, that isn't covered in the article, is that locate often turns up all sorts of unanticipated results, and, if you are unhappy with that, the solution is often to pipe the output through grep, to try to narrow it down on just what you want.

so, as an example, imagine you were searching for a file whose name you knew contained the string 'xyz'. You might try 'locate xyz', but if that turned up too much, you might think 'I know that it is under my username, so I'll try 'locate xyz | grep -i username', where 'username' is the name of the top level directory for all you user files (the '-i' for 'ignore case' is probably not necessary, in this particular case, but it gets to be a habit).

Find can do stuff with file metadata, which locate can't. So, for example, you can't get it to look at only files created within a certain date range, and similar clever tricks. You'll spend a little time with the man page to do it, though (or search for a tutorial, with your favourite search engine).


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