Im trying to make some backup script as the log files get bigger and bigger. What i have is coping the current file, (for example secure file in /var/log/) and remove the content from that file. But there are some files with the name like: secure.1, secure.2 and all this i like to count them, and if the number is bigger then 2 to archive them all. I can't find the method to find this files or count them. The first think that come up to me was:

find /var/log/ -name *.1 | wc -l

and this will always print 1 as there is one file secure.1. How can i count like in for loop where i can specified a range of numbers like {1..5} or similar. Is there a way to separate this files and make them as one and them backup or delete or what ever ... or first of all how can i find all this numbers that ends up with number.

  • 1
    Did you forget to quote the wildcard? find /var/log/ -name '*.1' ...
    – muru
    Nov 18, 2014 at 16:09
  • 1
    I think your should check logrotate for your purpose.
    – Costas
    Nov 18, 2014 at 16:09

3 Answers 3


With simple -name:

find /var/log -name '*.[2-9]'

or for any digit:

find /var/log -name '*.[[:digit:]]'

or if other chars are possible after digit:

find /var/log -name '*.[2-9]*'
  • how to find those that ONLY contain digit in their name? Apr 7, 2020 at 4:47

To find the filenames which ends with a number ranges from . [1 to 5].

find /var/log/ -type f -regextype sed -regex ".*\.[1-5]$"

Why not just...

for log in /var/log/*.[1-5]
do whatever to "$log"

You don't need find as far as I can tell - the shell uses the same globs it does in -name. And if all of the files are in a single directory... Of course, if there are subdirectories you're also interested in then find could be beneficial - walking trees in the shell can be a headache.

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