Q. How do I ignore hidden .dot files while searching for files? How do I ignore or exclude certain files while running Linux / UNIX find command?
A. Find command support standard UNIX regex to match or exclude files. You can write complex queries easily with regex.
Find command and logical operators
Find any file whose name ends with either 'c' or 'asm', enter:
$ find . -type f \( -iname "*.c" -or -iname "*.asm" \)
The parentheses must be escaped with a backslash, "\(" and "\)", to prevent them from being interpreted as special shell characters. The -type f option force to only search files and not directories. The or operator either find .c or .asm file.
Understanding find command operators
Operators build a complex expression from tests and actions. The operators are, in order of decreasing precedence:
|( expr )||Force precedence. True if expr is true|
|True if expr is false. In some shells, it is necessary to protect the ‘!’ from shell interpretation by quoting it.|
|expr1 -and expr2||And; expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is false.|
|expr1 -or expr2||Or; expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is true.|
How do I ignore hidden .dot files while searching for files?
Find *.txt file but ignore hidden .txt file such as .vimrc or .data.txt file:
$ find . -type f \( -iname "*.txt" ! -iname ".*" \)
Find all .dot files but ignore .htaccess file:
$ find . -type f \( -iname ".*" ! -iname ".htaccess" \)