How To Find A File In Linux

Many times, we find ourselves in situations where we need to locate a particular file in a Linux system. This can be a daunting task if you’re unsure of how to navigate through the Linux filesystem. Luckily for us, Linux offers several powerful tools for searching files. Today, we will discuss one of those methods – using the ‘find‘ command.

Introduction to the ‘find’ Command

The find command is a versatile utility in the Linux system that allows the user to search files and directories based on different parameters like the name of the file/directory, size, type, modification time, and more. It traverses through the directory tree to search for files/directories matching the input criteria.

Basic Usage of the ‘find’ Command

The basic syntax of the find command is as follows:

find [where to start searching from] [expression determines what to find]

For instance, if you want to find a file named example.txt in the /home/user/documents directory, you can use the following command:

    find /home/user/documents -name example.txt

The above command will print the path of the file if it is found in the specified directory or any of its subdirectories.

Finding Files by Type

The ‘find‘ command can also be used to search files by type. For instance, to find all directories within the /home/user directory, the following command can be used:

    find /home/user -type d

Here, ‘-type d’ means to look for directories (‘-type f’ would be used for files).

Finding Files by Size

The ‘find‘ command supports search based on the size of files. For instance, to find all files larger than 50MB in the /home/user directory, you can use the following command:

    find /home/user -type f -size +50M

The ‘+50M’ option means files larger than 50MB.


There is much more to the ‘find‘ command than what we’ve covered here. It’s a powerful tool for file search in Linux, and understanding its usage can greatly improve your productivity when managing files and directories in a Linux environment. For more options and usage of the ‘find‘ command, you can always refer to its man page by typing ‘man find‘ in your terminal.