In the world of system administration, the ability to search for directories with specific strings in their names is an essential skill. This article will guide you through the process of recursively searching for directories using different command-line tools.
To recursively search for directories with particular strings in their names, you can use the
find command with the
-type d -name "*STRING*" option. This will search for directories starting from a specified directory and filter the results based on the given string. Alternatively, you can combine
egrep to further refine your search. The
locate command can also be used, but it requires a regularly updated database.
Understanding Recursive Searching
Recursive searching is a process that involves starting at a root directory and then exploring all subdirectories within it. This can be particularly useful when you’re trying to locate a specific directory but can’t remember its exact location.
One of the most common tools for this task is the
find command. Here’s how you can use it:
find YOUR_STARTING_DIRECTORY -type d -name "*STRING*"
In this command,
YOUR_STARTING_DIRECTORY should be replaced with the directory from where you want to start the search.
STRING is the specific string you are looking for. The
-type d option tells
find to only look for directories. The
-name "*STRING*" option specifies that you’re looking for names that include the string.
You can also combine
find with the
grep command to filter your results:
find YOUR_STARTING_DIRECTORY -type d -name "*STRING*" | grep "STRING"
grep "STRING" is used to filter the output of the
find command, showing only the directories that include the string.
Alternatively, you can use
egrep instead of
find YOUR_STARTING_DIRECTORY -type d -name "*STRING*" | egrep "STRING"
egrep command is similar to
grep, but it supports extended regular expressions, which can be useful if you’re looking for more complex patterns.
ls command can also be used in combination with
ls -laR YOUR_STARTING_DIRECTORY | egrep "^d.*STRING"
In this command,
ls -laR lists all files and directories recursively.
egrep "^d.*STRING" then filters the output to show only the directories (
^d) with names containing the given string.
locate command is another useful tool for this task:
locate command searches a pre-built database of file and directory names, so it can be faster than using
find in some cases. However, the database needs to be regularly updated using the
In conclusion, there are several different ways to recursively search for directories with particular strings in their names. By understanding and utilizing these commands, you can significantly improve your efficiency as a system administrator. Remember to adjust the commands according to your specific starting directory and string, and don’t hesitate to combine these commands with other options to further customize your search.
Recursive searching for directories allows you to search for specific directories within a directory and its subdirectories. It helps you locate directories with particular strings in their names when you’re not sure of their exact location.
find command is used to search for files and directories in a directory hierarchy. By specifying the starting directory and using options like
-type d to look for directories and
-name "*STRING*" to search for names containing a specific string,
find can recursively search for directories with particular strings in their names.
egrep are both command-line tools used for pattern matching, but
egrep supports extended regular expressions. Extended regular expressions allow for more complex pattern matching, making
egrep a more powerful tool in some cases.
You can combine
find with commands like
egrep to filter the search results. By piping the output of
find to these commands, you can further refine the search based on specific patterns or strings you’re looking for.
locate command searches a pre-built database of file and directory names, which can make it faster than using
find in some cases. However, it’s important to note that the database needs to be regularly updated using the
updatedb command for accurate results.