Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Find All PDF Files in Directories and Subdirectories using Command Line (Ubuntu)

Ubuntu 19

In this article, we will explore how to find all PDF files in directories and subdirectories using the command line in Ubuntu. This can be especially useful when you need to manage a large number of files or automate tasks.

Quick Answer

To find all PDF files in directories and subdirectories using the command line in Ubuntu, you can use the find command with the -name option. Here’s the command: find . -name '*.pdf'. This will search for all PDF files starting from the current directory and its subdirectories.

Understanding the Command Line

The command line, also known as terminal, is a powerful tool that allows you to control your computer using commands. It’s a direct way to communicate with your system and perform tasks more efficiently.

The find Command

One of the most commonly used commands for searching files in Linux is the find command. This command allows you to search for files in a directory hierarchy based on different criteria such as name, size, type, etc.

Using find with the -name Option

To find all PDF files in the current directory and its subdirectories, you can use the find command with the -name option. The -name option tells find to search for files that match the pattern given. Here’s how you can use it:

find . -name '*.pdf'

In this command, . specifies the directory to start searching from (in this case, the current directory), and '*.pdf' is the pattern to match. The asterisk (*) is a wildcard that matches any sequence of characters, and .pdf specifies that we’re looking for files with the .pdf extension.

Using find with the -iname Option

If you want to perform a case-insensitive search, you can use the -iname option instead of -name. This can be useful when you’re not sure about the case of the letters in the filename. Here’s how you can use it:

find . -iname '*.pdf'

Using ls and grep

Another way to find all PDF files in directories and subdirectories is by using the ls and grep commands together. The ls command lists the contents of a directory, and the -R option tells it to list subdirectories recursively. The grep command is used to filter the output. Here’s how you can use them together:

ls -R | grep '.pdf$'

In this command, ls -R lists all files in the current directory and its subdirectories, and grep '.pdf$' filters the output to show only the files ending with .pdf.

Using Nautilus for Ubuntu Desktop

If you’re using Ubuntu Desktop, you can also use the graphical file manager Nautilus to find all PDF files in directories and subdirectories. Here’s how:

  • Open your home folder in Nautilus.
  • Press Ctrl+F to open the search dialog.
  • Enter .pdf in the search field and press Enter.
  • Nautilus will display all files with the .pdf extension in the current directory and its subdirectories.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored several ways to find all PDF files in directories and subdirectories using the command line in Ubuntu. Whether you prefer using find, ls and grep, or Nautilus, these methods should help you manage your files more efficiently. Remember to replace .pdf with the extension of the file type you are looking for when using these commands.

For more information on using the command line in Ubuntu, you can check the Ubuntu documentation.

What is the difference between the `-name` and `-iname` options in the `find` command?

The -name option in the find command is used to search for files based on their exact name, including the case of the letters. On the other hand, the -iname option is used for a case-insensitive search, meaning it will match files regardless of the case of the letters in the filename.

How can I search for files with a specific extension using the `find` command?

To search for files with a specific extension using the find command, you can use the -name or -iname option followed by the pattern of the file extension. For example, to find all PDF files, you can use find . -name '*.pdf' or find . -iname '*.pdf' depending on whether you want a case-sensitive or case-insensitive search, respectively.

Can I search for files in subdirectories using the `ls` command?

Yes, you can search for files in subdirectories using the ls command by using the -R option. The -R option tells ls to list files and directories recursively, including subdirectories. For example, you can use ls -R | grep '.pdf$' to list all PDF files in the current directory and its subdirectories.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *