How to use Find and Locate to search for files on Linux

6 nov 2023 1 min di lettura
How to use Find and Locate to search for files on Linux
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File management is an essential daily task for anyone using Linux-based systems. Two of the most powerful tools available to Linux users for searching files and directories are find and locate. This tutorial will walk you through the effective use of these commands, allowing you to quickly find what you're looking for.

Using the find command

The find command is used to recursively search for files and directories starting from a specific directory. Here are some examples:

Search by name: This command searches for a file called "filename.txt" within the /home/utente directory.

find /home/utente -type f -name "nomefile.txt"

Search by type:

find /-type d -name "nomedirectory"

Here, the command searches for a directory called "directoryname" starting from the root of the file system.

Search by size:

find /-size +100M

This example finds files larger than 100 MB.

Search by permissions:

find /-type f -permissions 0777

Look for files with permissions set to 777 (read, write and execute for all).

Combination with other commands:

find /home/utente -type f -name "*.log" -exec rm {} \;

Find and delete all files with the ".log" extension in the /home/utente directory.

Using the locate command

The locate command offers a quick way to find files and directories using a pre-built database, making it faster than find but less up-to-date.

Simple search:

locate nomefile

Search for a file called "filename" using the locate database.

Search ignoring case:

locate -i "NomeFile"

Search for "FileName" ignoring uppercase and lowercase letters.

Update the locate database:

sudo updatedb

Before using locate, you may need to update its database to reflect the latest files.


Knowing and knowing how to use find and locate is essential for any Linux user. While find is more versatile and allows for complex searches, locate is the better choice for speed when you need instant results. However, locate requires its database to be updated with updatedb to be effective. Using the examples provided, you are now equipped to search your Linux system for files and directories with ease and accuracy.

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