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How To Use Find and Locate to Search for Files in a Linux Environment


Navigating through the extensive file system of a Linux server, like those offered by ServerStadium (VM Pricing, Dedicated Servers), requires efficient search tools. The find and locate commands are integral to Linux systems, enabling users to quickly and effectively locate files and directories.

Using the Find Command

  1. Basic Find Usage:

    Search for a file by its name:

    find /path/to/start/search -type f -name "filename"

    Replace /path/to/start/search with your starting directory and "filename" with the file name.

  2. Find Files by Modification Time:

    Locate files modified in the last n days:

    find /path -mtime -n

    Replace /path with your directory and n with the number of days.

  3. Executing Commands on Found Files:

    Perform actions on each found file:

    find /path -type f -exec command {} ;

    Replace /path with your search directory and command with the desired action.

Using the Locate Command

  1. Basic Locate Usage:

    First, update the locate database:

    sudo updatedb

    Then, search for a file:

    locate filename

    Replace filename with the file you’re searching for.

  2. Limit Locate Results:

    Restrict the number of results shown:

    locate -n 10 filename

    This shows only the first 10 results.


find and locate are indispensable tools for file searching on Linux, each with its strengths—find for thoroughness and locate for speed. Utilizing these commands can significantly enhance file management efficiency on ServerStadium’s Linux servers. For more insights into server management, visit ServerStadium.

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