Searching for Files in Bash ShellFind a File in Bash

In this tutorial, you will learn how to search for files in a bash shell using the locate and find commands. These commands are useful when you need to locate specific files or search for files based on certain criteria.

Using locate Command

  1. Update the file database by running the following command:


    This step ensures that the file database is up to date and includes the latest changes.

  2. To search for a file, use the locate command followed by the filename or a pattern. For example, to search for the file named v-add-letsencrypt-domain, use the command:

    locate v-add-letsencrypt-domain
  3. The output of the locate command will display the file path(s) where the file is found. It will be similar to the following:


Using find Command

  1. The find command provides more advanced search options compared to locate but might be slower. To search for files based on specific criteria, use the find command.

  2. To search for files with a specific extension in the current directory, use the following command:

    find . -name '*.txt'

    This command searches for all files with the extension .txt in the current directory.

  3. If you want to exclude directories from the search results, add the -type f parameter to only search for regular files. For example:

    find . -type f -name '*.txt'

    This command searches for .txt files in the current directory but excludes any directories.

  4. If you want to search through all directories on the system, you can use the following command:

    find / -type f -name myfile.txt

    This command searches for a file named myfile.txt starting from the root directory (/). Be cautious as this search may take some time, so it's better to specify a specific directory whenever possible.