Here is how to control which directories
find searches, and how
it searches them. These two options allow you to process a horizontal
slice of a directory tree.
Descend at most levels (a non-negative integer) levels of directories below the command line arguments. Using ‘-maxdepth 0’ means only apply the tests and actions to the command line arguments.
$ mkdir -p dir/d1/d2/d3/d4/d5/d6 $ find dir -maxdepth 1 dir dir/d1 $ find dir -mindepth 5 dir/d1/d2/d3/d4/d5 dir/d1/d2/d3/d4/d5/d6 $ find dir -mindepth 2 -maxdepth 4 dir/d1/d2 dir/d1/d2/d3 dir/d1/d2/d3/d4
Do not apply any tests or actions at levels less than levels (a non-negative integer). Using ‘-mindepth 1’ means process all files except the command line arguments.
See ‘-maxdepth’ for examples.
Process each directory’s contents before the directory itself. Doing
this is a good idea when producing lists of files to archive with
tar. If a directory does not have write
permission for its owner, its contents can still be restored from the
archive since the directory’s permissions are restored after its
This is a deprecated synonym for ‘-depth’, for compatibility with Mac OS X, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. The ‘-depth’ option is a POSIX feature, so it is better to use that.
If the file is a directory, do not descend into it. The result is true. For example, to skip the directory src/emacs and all files and directories under it, and print the names of the other files found:
find . -wholename './src/emacs' -prune -o -print
The above command will not print ./src/emacs among its list of results. This however is not due to the effect of the ‘-prune’ action (which only prevents further descent, it doesn’t make sure we ignore that item). Instead, this effect is due to the use of ‘-o’. Since the left hand side of the “or” condition has succeeded for ./src/emacs, it is not necessary to evaluate the right-hand-side (‘-print’) at all for this particular file. If you wanted to print that directory name you could use either an extra ‘-print’ action:
find . -wholename './src/emacs' -prune -print -o -print
or use the comma operator:
find . -wholename './src/emacs' -prune , -print
If the ‘-depth’ option is in effect, the subdirectories will have already been visited in any case. Hence ‘-prune’ has no effect in this case.
Because ‘-delete’ implies ‘-depth’, using ‘-prune’ in combination with ‘-delete’ may well result in the deletion of more files than you intended.
Exit immediately (with return value zero if no errors have occurred).
This is different to ‘-prune’ because ‘-prune’ only applies
to the contents of pruned directories, while ‘-quit’ simply makes
find stop immediately. No child processes will be left
running. Any command lines which have been built by ‘-exec
... \+’ or ‘-execdir ... \+’ are invoked before the program is
exited. After ‘-quit’ is executed, no more files specified on
the command line will be processed. For example, ‘find /tmp/foo
/tmp/bar -print -quit’ will print only ‘/tmp/foo’. One common
use of ‘-quit’ is to stop searching the file system once we have
found what we want. For example, if we want to find just a single
file we can do this:
find / -name needle -print -quit
Do not optimize by assuming that directories contain 2 fewer
subdirectories than their hard link count. This option is needed when
searching filesystems that do not follow the Unix directory-link
convention, such as CD-ROM or MS-DOS filesystems or AFS volume mount
points. Each directory on a normal Unix filesystem has at least 2
hard links: its name and its . entry. Additionally, its
subdirectories (if any) each have a .. entry linked to that
find is examining a directory, after it has
statted 2 fewer subdirectories than the directory’s link count, it
knows that the rest of the entries in the directory are
non-directories (leaf files in the directory tree). If only the
files’ names need to be examined, there is no need to stat them; this
gives a significant increase in search speed.
If a file disappears after its name has been read from a directory but
find gets around to examining the file with
don’t issue an error message. If you don’t specify this option, an
error message will be issued.
find with the ‘-ignore_readdir_race’ option
will ignore errors of the ‘-delete’ action in the case the file
has disappeared since the parent directory was read: it will not output
an error diagnostic, and the return code of the ‘-delete’ action
will be true.
This option can be useful in system
scripts (cron scripts, for example) that examine areas of the
filesystem that change frequently (mail queues, temporary directories,
and so forth), because this scenario is common for those sorts of
directories. Completely silencing error messages from
undesirable, so this option neatly solves the problem. There is no
way to search one part of the filesystem with this option on and part
of it with this option off, though. When this option is turned on and
find discovers that one of the start-point files specified on the
command line does not exist, no error message will be issued.
This option reverses the effect of the ‘-ignore_readdir_race’ option.