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Let's say I have a directory dir with three subdirectories dir1 .. dir3. And inside I have many files and other subdirectories.

I'd like to search for a file inside, say with a *.c ending, but I'd only like to search in subdirectory "dir/dir2" and all its subdirectories. How can I formulate that?

Assuming I'm in dir/ I have:

find . -name "*.c"

to search in all directories.

How do I restrict to only dir2?

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man find answers your question in no time. – alex Dec 15 '10 at 13:36
@alex So do we :) – Michael Mrozek Dec 15 '10 at 15:03
@Michael: yep, but man apparently got much more spare time than we all do combined :) – alex Dec 15 '10 at 18:58
@alex but we get rep for answering, man doesn't :-) – Josh Dec 16 '10 at 14:11
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Find will accept any valid path so

find ./dir2 -name '*.c'

should do the trick

If the dir directory is /home/user/dir you could give find the full path

find /home/user/dir/dir2 -name '*.c'
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You could also use the -path parameter of find in place of -name:

find . -path "dir2/*.c"

This could allow you to find files in dir2 even if dir2 were not a direct subdirectory, E.G:

# find . -path "*/dir2/*.c"
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Assuming you are in dir

find dir2 -name '*.c'

of course Iain's answer is also correct

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You can do find dir2 -name '*.c'

You could also do (cd dir2; find -name '*.c')

If you wanted to look at dir1 and dir3 but not dir2, you could do find {dir1,dir3} -name '*.c'

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In the last command, the braces aren't needed. find dir1 dir3 -name \*.c works just fine. – KeithB Dec 15 '10 at 14:19

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