In this tutorial, we’ll look at the commands and how you can quickly use it to locate files in your filesystem. Finding files is a powerful utility capable of locating files anywhere on your system including mounted drives and removable storage, processing regular expressions, and even running other commands on those files. Fortunately, only a few simple options are needed to provide most users with all the capabilities they need.

The find command is a command-line utility for walking a file hierarchy. It can be used to find files and directories and perform subsequent operations on them. It supports searching by file, folder, name, creation date, modification date, owner and permissions.

Find File By Name

As with most open-source commands, you have several available options. And we are attempting to find a file by name, we’ll use one of two options:

  • name – case sensitive
  • iname – case insensitive

Remember, Open-source is very particular about the case, so if you’re looking for a file named .txt, the following command will return no results.

sudo find / -name filename.extension


sudo find / -name text.txt

If, however, you were to alter the command by using the -iname option, the find command would locate your file, regardless of case. So the new command looks like:

sudo find / -iname filename.extension


sudo find / -iname text.txt

Find By Type

What if you’re not so concerned with locating a file by name but would rather locate all files of a certain type? Some of the more common file descriptors are:

Options Description
f Regular File
d Directory
l Symbolic Link
c Character Devices
b Block Devices

Now, suppose you want to locate all block devices (a file that refers to a device) on your system. With the help of the -type option, we can do that like so:

sudo find / -type b

We can use the same option to help us look for configuration files. Say, for instance, you want to locate all regular files that end in the .conf extension. This command would look something like:

sudo find / -type  f -name "*.conf"

Find Modified Files Since Last 60 minutes

Do you know you can modify your files by for the last 60 minutes or any minutes.

find / -mmin -60

Find Change Files Since Last 60 minutes

You can also find the changed files that you have been changed for any minutes, too.

find / -cmin -60

Find All Files Which Are Accessed 7 days

Besides finding all the files that have been changed by minutes you can look for the files has been accessed for days.

find / -atim 7

All the numeric number here, you can put with any other number.

Finding Files By Size

We can use the find command to locate files of a certain size. Say, for instance, you want to go large and locate files that are over 1000MB. The find command can be issued, with the help of the -size option, like so:

find / -size +1000M

You can also find all files which are greater than or less than, too. For example, ( Greater than 10MB Less than 100MB )

find / -size +10M -size -100M

With the output from the command, you can comb through the directory structure and free up space or troubleshoot to find out what is mysteriously filling up your drive.

You can search with the following size descriptions:

Options Description
c Bytes
k Kilobytes
M Megabytes
G Gigabytes
b 512-byte blocks

The which command locates the executable file associated with a given command. It returns the pathnames of the files (or links) which would be executed in the current environment, had the filename (or filenames) been given as a command (or commands) in a strictly POSIX-conformant shell. It does this by searching the paths in the PATH environment variable for executable files matching the names of the arguments.

The syntax for which command is as follows:


Locate File With Which

For example, to find the full path of the ping command, you would type the following:

which ping

You can also provide more than one arguments to the which command:

which ping uptime

The output will include full paths to both ping and uptime executables:


The search is done from left to right, and if more than one matches are found in the directories listed in the PATH path variable, which will print only the first one. To print all matches, use the -a option:

which -a touch

Usually one of the executables is only a symlink to the other one, but in some cases, you may have two versions of the same command installed in different locations or different commands using the same name.

The which command is used to locate a command by searching the command executable in the directories specified by the environmental variable PATH.

Showing History Of Used Commands

Since all of our services are currently running on Open-Source. There is a very useful command to show you all of the last commands that have been recently used. The command is simply called history, but can also be accessed by looking at your .bash_history in your home folder.


By default, the history command will show you the last five hundred commands you have entered.

Showing History Of Used Command Less

If you wish to view the history one page at a time, you can use the command below.

history | less

To view just the last ten commands, you can use the following:

history | tail

To view the last 25 commands, just use the following:

history 25

Another way to search history is with the following command. This command will show us all the history of commands has used on the object.

history | grep <OPTION> <FILE_NAME>

For example: I want to see how many commands have been used on this file text.txt

history | grep text.txt

Here is the output all the commands have been used on it.

  394  touch text.txt
  397  find / -iname text.txt
  398  sudo find / -iname text.txt
  408  locate text.txt
  431  history | grep text.txt