Find command: Exclude / Ignore Files ( Ignore Hidden .dot Files )

by on August 31, 2008 · 11 comments· LAST UPDATED August 31, 2008

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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
-not expr
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.
WARNING! The '-or', '-and', and '-not' operator are not available on all versions of find. Usually GNU find supports all options. Refer your local find command man page for more information.

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 \( -iname ".*" ! -iname ".htaccess" \)

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 scott August 8, 2009 at 1:49 am

Thanks for the ! example!!


2 vapere July 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Hi! Cna u help me?
I need find all *.css file but exclude one file /lang/en.css, but include /1/lang/en.css


3 wajrou November 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm

find . -path ‘*/lang/en.css’ -prune -o -name ‘*.css’ -print; find . -path ‘*/1/lang/en.css’ -print


4 mactruck April 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm

can you help me?
I need to find all files older than 500 days.

this is my code so far and I get an error saying -iname is not a valid option.

find . -type f \( ! -iname ".*" \) -mtime +500 -exec ls {} \;


5 bsod January 7, 2014 at 8:36 am

find . -type f -not -name ‘.*’ -mtime +500 -exec ls {} \;


6 Nikesh Jauhari May 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm

thanks for excellent tips on find command


7 saireddysateesh May 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

i have some issue
having a directory LOG. in that so many files and directories are there. i want to find and delete the file which starts with PS. but it should not check sub directories.


8 amol July 13, 2012 at 7:08 am

I have to delete the files modified yesterday so I can keep only today files (which I download daily ) in current directory how do I do that ?


9 Gary December 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Is there a way to get a list of “.c” files and grep the contents only in those files for a keyword?

I tried
find . -type f \( -iname “*.c” \) |grep -i -r “keyword”

It seems like grep is still going through all the files and not just the “.c” files.


10 Richard Mason February 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm
find . -name "*.c" -exec grep -ir "keyword" {} ";"


11 pankaj February 9, 2015 at 3:15 am

How can i find a last 5 min created file in a folder not the sub folder like.

i serach a file inside folder /home/pankaj but not in /home/pankaj/test/test1


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