I run this command

find -iname *something*

It normally searches in subfolders but if I have a file that matches the criteria in the working directory it only reports it and stops. I'm thinking to write a function that first searches sub folders in current directory than issue many find commands for each of them but I feel there should be an easier way... Actually I think it should be the default behavior, so maybe I have something wrong in some setup file?

  • 2
    do you have it aliased or hidden with a function? alias find and declare -f find output would clarify the situation
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:51
  • 1
    What happens when you add a dot after find - find . -iname something ?
    – fd0
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


Does something include a glob that is being interpreted by the shell? That would cause the expanded filename to be passed to the find command.

For example if you run find -iname *.txt with a file in the current directory called file.txt then the resulting command after shell expansion would be find -iname file.txt.

To avoid this pitfall you can escape the glob to send the literal string to the find command with find -iname '*.txt'


If the subfolders are behind symbolic links you have to use the -L option. Try

find -L . -iname '*something*'

According to the find man pages

If -L is in effect and find discovers a symbolic link to a subdirectory during its search, the subdirectory pointed to by the symbolic link will be searched.

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