I want to find all .xml files in all directories and subdirectories with name 'metadata' in the filesystem. Is there a way to search by pattern similar to

find . -name  */metadata/*.xml" (mixing find command and Gradle paralance)


  • find / -type f -name '*metadata*.xml' but, i am sure that has a dozen of duplicate questions and answers. Search it. – George Vasiliou Feb 15 '17 at 1:03
  • @GeorgeVasiliou wouldn't that need to be -path rather than -name? e.g. find / -type f -name '*/metadata/*.xml'. Also it's not clear whether the OP wants metadata anywhere in the path, or just as the immediate parent (in the latter case, find / -type f -regex '.*/metadata/[^/]*\.xml' might do it, at least in GNU find) – steeldriver Feb 15 '17 at 1:08
  • @steeldriver Yes, it might require -path , is not very clear if metadata is part of the filename (so can go at -name) or can also be part of the path , and thus -path should be used (BTW you have a typo error in your comment, right? you suggest to use -path but you wrote -name) . – George Vasiliou Feb 15 '17 at 1:18
  • @GeorgeVasiliou doh! yes I meant -path – steeldriver Feb 15 '17 at 1:23
$ find / -path "*/metadata/*" -name "*.xml"

or, depending on your needs, just

$ find / -path "*/metadata/*.xml"

These are not the same though.

  • The first one will find all files with an .xml suffix with a path that contains a metadata directory. The files may be several levels below that directory.

  • The second one will find all files with an .xml suffix that are located in a metadata directory.

Note: I'm using / as you said "in the filesystem", which I interpreted to mean "anywhere".

Alternatively, using locate (will only find files accessible to all users):

$ locate "/metadata/" | grep '\.xml$'

(This will work somewhat like the first find above)

  • Works perfectly! – akirekadu Feb 15 '17 at 21:56
  • I think this info is useful. I could not find anything close when I searched. Not sure why someone down voted the question :( – akirekadu Feb 15 '17 at 21:59

This is sort of sloppy, but while you are in the parent directory of your choosing you could try

grep -nr "*metadata/*xml" .
  • I want to search in subdirectories as well. Updated the question to make it clearer – akirekadu Feb 15 '17 at 0:19

What you need to realize is that the -name in 'find' is really the 'basename' Hence to get at the actual filename we can run a nested find wherein we first locate a directory whose name is 'metadata' and then look for any *.xml files under the said directory:

find . -type d -name metadata -exec sh -c '
shift $1;
while case $# in 0 ) break;; esac; do
   find "${1}/." ! -name . -prune -type f -name \*.xml
' 2 1 {} +

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