• Uncategorized

About linux : find-paths-must-precede-expression-How-do-I-specify-a-recursive-search-that-also-finds-files-in-the-current-directory

Question Detail

I am having a hard time getting find to look for matches in the current directory as well as its subdirectories.

When I run find *test.c it only gives me the matches in the current directory. (does not look in subdirectories)

If I try find . -name *test.c I would expect the same results, but instead it gives me only matches that are in a subdirectory. When there are files that should match in the working directory, it gives me: find: paths must precede expression: mytest.c

What does this error mean, and how can I get the matches from both the current directory and its subdirectories?

Question Answer

Try putting it in quotes — you’re running into the shell’s wildcard expansion, so what you’re acually passing to find will look like:

find . -name bobtest.c cattest.c snowtest.c

…causing the syntax error. So try this instead:

find . -name '*test.c'

Note the single quotes around your file expression — these will stop the shell (bash) expanding your wildcards.

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

Try putting it in quotes:

find . -name '*test.c'

From find manual:


   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
   $ find . -name '*.c' -print
   $ find . -name \*.c -print

I see this question is already answered. I just want to share what worked for me. I was missing a space between ( and -name. So the correct way of chosen a files with excluding some of them would be like below;

find . -name 'my-file-*' -type f -not \( -name 'my-file-1.2.0.jar' -or -name 'my-file.jar' \) 

I came across this question when I was trying to find multiple filenames that I could not combine into a regular expression as described in @Chris J’s answer, here is what worked for me

find . -name one.pdf -o -name two.txt -o -name anotherone.jpg

-o or -or is logical OR. See Finding Files on Gnu.org for more information.

I was running this on CygWin.

You can try this:

cat $(file $( find . -readable) | grep ASCII | tr ":" " " | awk '{print $1}')

with that, you can find all readable files with ascii and read them with cat

if you want to specify his weight and no-executable:

cat $(file $( find . -readable ! -executable -size 1033c) | grep ASCII | tr ":" " " | awk '{print $1}')

In my case i was missing trailing / in path.

find /var/opt/gitlab/backups/ -name *.tar

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.