I have a lot of folders with files ending with "-105x135.jpg", "-410x410.jpg" etc., "780-105x135.jpg" and "candyswing-2-klein-ohrringe-schale-038-135x160.jpg" for example which i need to find and delete, using online regex I've created this pattern: [0-9]x..[0-9].jpg, but find . -regex '[0-9]x..[0-9].jpg' didn`t show any results.


According to the man page, the -regex option is a match on the entire path, ie. the entire file name and also the entire directory-path portion, so you would need to precede your regex with .*. There are several explicit examples in the man page.

Also, keep in mind the option -regextype. The default (per the man page) is emacs, but other options are posix-awk, posix-basic, posix-egrep and posix-extended. Knock yourself out.

  • Thanks! It did work, but besides adding .* I needed to replace periods with [0-9], for some reason periods didn't work. I ended up with find -regex ".*[09]x[0-9][0-9][0-9].jpg" – Mike Mar 9 '18 at 15:35
  • Great to hear. If you're game to continue experimenting, try ".*[09]x[0-9]+.jpg" and ".*[09]x[0-9]{3}.jpg" – user1404316 Mar 9 '18 at 16:35

Another option would be to use bash's globstar option:

shopt -s globstar

to list:

ls **/*[0-9][0-9][0-9]x[0-9][0-9][0-9].jpg

or remove:

rm **/*[0-9][0-9][0-9]x[0-9][0-9][0-9].jpg

the files.

The glob pattern above is slightly different that the regex you provided; the regex would allow any two characters after the x, not strictly numbers. In other words, a file named: somefile-135xyz9.jpg would match the regex, but not the above glob.

The glob recursively (**) matches files that:

  • start with anything (*)
  • have three numbers (three [0-9])
  • followed by an x
  • followed by three numbers
  • followed by .jpg

One risk to this approach is if/when the number of matching files exceeds the command-line argument space. In that case, you could save the filenames in an array, then loop through the array individually.

To investigate:

for file in "${files[@]}"; do echo Would: rm -- "$file"; done

To remove:

for file in "${files[@]}"; do rm -- "$file"; done
  • Unfortunately, it gave me bash: /usr/bin/ls: Argument list too long error. – Mike Mar 9 '18 at 14:37
  • @Mike, I've added a workaround to the end of my post, in case it's useful for you. – Jeff Schaller Mar 9 '18 at 16:07

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