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The find util letes you search a filesystem for things that match filesystem attributes. Unfortunately this is one of those tools where BSD and GNU deviate syntactically and featurewise, and GNU mostly wins.


Find and delete empty directories 2 levels deep or deeper

find "${PWD}" -mindepth 2 -type d -empty -delete

Find based on a regex

find /tank/movies -regextype egrep -iregex '.*\.(mov|mp4)$'

Find files and perform operations on them

One at a time:

find "${PWD}" -type d -exec dot_clean {} \;

Or several in batches, similar to how xargs handles things:

find "${PWD}" -type d -exec dot_clean {} \+

Find files that match a glob

find "${PWD}" -name '????????-??-??-??_[0-9][0-9][0-9]???.dng'

Alter permissions on some files that are not already set correctly

find . -mindepth 2 -type f ! -perm 444 -exec chmod 444 {} \+

Find files in the current directory that do not match any of several listed filenames

find . -maxdepth 1 -type f ! -iname '.*' ! -name .DS_Store ! -name '*.db'

Correctly handle spaces when piping to xargs

find /Applications -mindepth 1 -maxdepth 1 -type d -name '* *' -print0 | xargs -0 -n1 echo

Find executable files

This finds all files where an executable bit is set.

With BSD find:

find . -type f -perm +111

With GNU find:

find . -type f -executable