I’m having trouble getting find to search the current directory and its subdirectories for matches.
When I run find *test.c, it only returns results from the current directory. (doesn’t search subdirectories)
If I run find. -name *test.c, nothing happens. I was expecting the same results, but all it offers me are matches in subdirectories. When there are files in the working directory that should match, it sends me: find: expression must come before paths: mytest.c
What does this issue signify, and how can I find matches in the current directory and its subdirectories?
Asked by Chris Finley
You’re running into the shell’s wildcard expansion, so what you’re actually passing to locate will look like:
find . -name bobtest.c cattest.c snowtest.c
…which results in a syntax error. Instead, try this:
find . -name '*test.c'
The single quotes around your file expression will prevent your wildcards from being expanded by the shell (bash).
Answered by Chris J
What’s happening is that the shell is expanding “*test.c” into a list of files. Try escaping the asterisk as:
find . -name \*test.c
Answered by Jim Garrison
Put it in quotation marks:
find . -name '*test.c'
Answered by rkulla
From find manual:
NON-BUGS Operator precedence surprises The command find . -name afile -o -name bfile -print will never print afile because this is actually equivalent to find . -name afile -o \( -name bfile -a -print \). Remember that the precedence of -a is higher than that of -o and when there is no operator specified between tests, -a is assumed. “paths must precede expression” error message $ find . -name *.c -print find: paths must precede expression Usage: find [-H] [-L] [-P] [-Olevel] [-D ... [path...] [expression] This happens because *.c has been expanded by the shell resulting in find actually receiving a command line like this: find . -name frcode.c locate.c word_io.c -print That command is of course not going to work. Instead of doing things this way, you should enclose the pattern in quotes or escape the wildcard: $ find . -name '*.c' -print $ find . -name \*.c -print
Answered by Nick Constantine
This question has previously been answered, as far as I can tell. All I want to do is share what has worked for me. A space was missed between (and -name. So, the proper method of selecting files while eliminating certain of them would be as follows:
find . -name 'my-file-*' -type f -not \( -name 'my-file-1.2.0.jar' -or -name 'my-file.jar' \)
Answered by cell-in
Post is based on https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6495501/find-paths-must-precede-expression-how-do-i-specify-a-recursive-search-that