GNU Find Utilities 4.2.27 review

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The GNU Find Utilities are the basic directory searching utilities of the GNU operating system

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 1096K
Developer: Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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The GNU Find Utilities are the basic directory searching utilities of the GNU operating system. These programs are typically used in conjunction with other programs to provide modular and powerful directory search and file locating capabilities to other commands.

The tools supplied with this package are:

* find - search for files in a directory hierarchy
* locate - list files in databases that match a pattern
* updatedb - update a file name database
* xargs - build and execute command lines from standard input

The find program searches a directory tree to find a file or group of files. Find program traverses the directory tree and reports all occurrences of a file matching the user's specifications. The find program includes very powerful searching capability.

The locate program scans one or more databases of filenames and displays any matches. This can be used as a very fast find command if the file was present during the last file name database update.

The updatedb program updates the file name database used by the locate program. The file name database contains lists of files that were in particular directory trees when the databases were last updated. This is usually run nightly by the cron system daemon.

The xargs program builds and executes command lines by gathering together arguments it reads on the standard input. Most often, these arguments are lists of file names generated by find.


Here is an example operation to make all HTML files in the subdirectory htdocs readable by all using find and xargs. This is a typical example of how find and xargs are used with other utilities to provide powerful directory traversal capability.

find htdocs -name '*.html' -print0 | xargs -0 chmod a+r

See the online info documentation described above for more examples.

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