If you've not used the find utility before, you may want to start by reading Getting Started with the Find Utility.
Finding files based on file size
Find will allow you to search for files based on the file size. Firstly, lets look at how you'd search for files of an exact size.
find / -size 2048c
Note that the "c" represents bytes (characters). So the command above will match files in your filesystem that are exactly 2048 bytes in size, no file with size more or less than this will be matched.
If you would like to search for all files under the current directory that are less than a certain size, simply prefix the number with a "-". For example, to search for all files that are less than 50KB, you could use:
find . -size -50k
The "k" used above simply stands for Kilobytes (KB).
If you need to find all files on your system that are greater than 100 Megabytes, use:
find / -size +100M
Similarly, to find files greater than 3 Gigabytes, you could use:
find / -size +3G
Find files accessed/changed/modified within the last few minutes
As you probably know already, each file has three timestamps associated with it.
Lets just clarify or refresh ourselves about what these timestamps are for:
the last time a file was accessed
the last time the file's metadata (or "status") changed (that is inodes etc...)
the last time the contents of the file were changed
When you want to find files that have been accessed, you use the
So, to find files in the current directory that were accessed exactly 10 minutes ago, you could use:
To find files that were accessed within the last few minutes, precede the number of minutes with a
If you want to find all files than have been modified you would use
Find files Accessed/Changed/Modified within the last few days
To find files accessed/changed/modified in the last 24 hours, use
So to find any files on your system that have been accessed in the last 24 hours, you could use:
The number of 24 hour periods actually gets rounded off so that fractions of a day are ignored.
This can be used in conjunction with
that is older than the 24 hour period between 48 --> 72 hours ago, or in other words, to be part of the results, the files must have been accessed more than 2 days ago (at least 3 days).
Note that for the
will show all files in
Find files based on owner and/or group
If you need to find files belonging to a particular owner use the
You can also search for files in a particular group by using the
If you need to check for both a specific owner and group, just use both as in:
To check for files with no known user or group, use the options
If a user account gets removed from your desktop or server it is always a good idea to find files that have no user or group and give them a user/group or even remove them from your system.
To identify files on your system that have no user:
To find files that have no user and no group use:
Mounted file systems
If you don't want find to descend directories of other file systems that you've mounted, use the
Thank you for reading this article.