find


How to execute `find` that ignores .git directories

Trying to find a source code file by its content using find and -exec grep, can some times result in getting results from the repository .git folders as well.

This behavior not only does it provide results you do not need but it also makes your search slower.
Below, we propose a couple of solutions on how to make a more efficient search.

Example 1: Ignore all .git folders no matter where they are in the search path

For find to ignore all .git folders, even if they appear on the first level of directories or any in-between until the last one, add -not -path '*/\.git*' to your command as in the example below.
This parameter will instruct find to filter out any file that has anywhere in its path the folder .git. This is very helpful in case a project has dependencies in other projects (repositories) that are part of the internal structure.

find . -type f -not -path '*/\.git/*';

Note, if you are using svn use:

find . -type f -not -path '*/\.svn/*';

Example 2: Ignore all hidden files and folders

To ignore all hidden files and folders from your find results add -not -path '*/\.*' to your command.

find . -not -path '*/\.*';

This parameter instructs find to ignore any file that has anywhere in its path the string /. which is any hidden file or folder in the search path!


Replace a character in all filenames

The following command will search for files in the current directory (.) that have in their name the colon character :.
The files that match will then be renamed and all instances of the colon character : in the names will be replaced by the full stop character ..

find . -name "*:*" -execdir sh -c 'mv "$1" "${1//:/.}"' _ {} \;
  • -execdir command {} + is like -exec, but the specified command is run from the subdirectory containing the matched file, which is not normally the directory in which you started find.

Example: if you have a file named 2017-03-15 14:34:44.116002523.png then it will be renamed to 2017-03-15 14.34.44.116002523.png.


Back Up Jenkins instance except for workspace and build logs

Our Jenkins setup has a lot of cool features and configuration.
It has ‘project-based security’, it has parametrized projects, multiple source code management blocks per project and fairly extensive tests implemented with several build steps.
Of course, we do not want to lose them, so we make backups often.
The commands we use for the backup are the following.

jenkins_folder="/var/lib/jenkins/";
 backup_folder="$HOME/jenkins/`date +%F`";
 mkdir -p "$backup_folder";
 (cd "$jenkins_folder"/jobs/; find . -mindepth 3 -type d -regex '.*/[0-9]*$' -print) | sed 's|./|jobs/|' | sudo rsync --archive --exclude 'workspace/*' --exclude-from=- "$jenkins_folder" "$backup_folder";

Explanation of commands:

  • In backup_folder="$HOME/jenkins/`date +%F`"; we used the $HOME variable instead of the tilde ~ as this would create a folder in the current directory called ~ instead of creating a new folder called jenkins in the home directory.
  • mkdir -p "$backup_folder"; instructs mkdir to create all parent folders needed to create our destination folder.
  • (cd "$jenkins_folder"/jobs/; find . -mindepth 3 -type d -regex '.*/[0-9]*$' -print) navigates to the directory of jenkins before performing the search, this way the result file names will be relative to the installation location which we need later to pass to rsync.
    Then we search for all folders which their name is numeric and they at least on depth 3. We filter by depth as well to avoid matching folders directly in the jobs folder.
  • sed 's|./|jobs/|' replaces the prefix ./ with jobs/ to match the relative path from where rsync will work from
  • sudo rsync --archive --exclude 'workspace/*' --exclude-from=- "$jenkins_folder" "$backup_folder"; it will copy everything from $jenkins_folder to the folder $backup_folder while excluding the data in workspace and the folders matched from find (the job build folders).
    --exclude-from=- instructs rsync to read from stdin the list of files to exclude.

Find files that were created, modified or accessed in the last N minutes

Find all files in $my_folder that their status changed in the last 60 minutes

find $my_folder -cmin -60

Find all files in $my_folder that their data were modified in the last 60 minutes

find $my_folder -mmin -60

Find all files in $my_folder that they were accessed in the last 60 minutes

find $my_folder -amin -60

Please remember to use negative values for the minutes. e.g. use -60 and not 60.

More examples

Find all files in $my_folder that their status changed in the last 60 minutes AND they were accessed in the last 10 minutes

find $my_folder -cmin -60 -amin -10

Find all files in $my_folder that their status changed in the last 60 minutes OR they were accessed in the last 10 minutes

find $my_folder \( -cmin -60 -o -amin -10 \)

Notes on find command

  • -cmin n Matches files which their status was last changed n minutes ago.
  • -mmin n Matches files which which data was last modified n minutes ago.
  • -amin n Matches files which they were last accessed n minutes ago.
  • -o is the logical Or operator. The second expression  is not evaluated if the first expression is true.