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Chicago Tribune: Options abound in finding files on a Linux system

Jun 10, 2000, 15:12 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Epsteyn)

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"Linux provides users with a find command to search for files in a directory hierarchy. find allows for several criteria to be used for matching the files you are interested in, such as the name, owner, creation, modification and access times, permissions, size, type of the file and more. You can combine options using simple boolean expressions such as AND, OR and NOT to produce a more specific search."

"While find does an excellent job looking for files with complex search criteria, for simple tasks of looking up files by name it is somewhat slow, having to traverse each sub-directory. Most Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Linux, provide an alternative to find called locate."

"The locate utility uses a database to quickly locate the files you need using patterns. It is significantly faster then using find due to its indexed database search rather then traversing the file hierarchy. The index database is typically built every night; however, the down side of this is not having the ability to search for recently created files."

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