How to use find with boolean operators AND, OR, NOT

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Date: 2011-02-14 10:36:30 00:00


In these days when disk are everyday bigger and bigger as well as cheaper, you will find yourself storing everything, we almost never delete a file anymore, we just store it. But, I do not know about yourself, but sometimes it happens to me, that I can’t just remember where a given file, picture, or song was archived.

So, I know I have it, somewhere in my disk, but not know where. You you might think I am not too organized, and you will be right with that statement, :).

What I do, is to use find to locate those missed files, find is extremely powerful, and I’ve written about it in the past, for example:

Today, I just want to give you a small tip about it, and it is how to combine searches using boolean operators like:

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT

Find and boolean operators

Let’s do this by examples, and to start let’s suppose I want to find the files with .png and .jpg extensions.

find /path/ -name '*.png' -or -name '*.jpg'

This way, files with .jpg or .png in other words image files.

Now, let’s imagine we need to find movies that are bigger than a certain size.

find /path/ -name '*.mpeg' -and -size +300000k

So, we will find only files ending in .mpeg and bigger than 300 Mega bytes of size.

I’m sure you will find other applications.