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?


4 Answers 4


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"

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'

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'

  • 4
    In the last command, the braces aren't needed. find dir1 dir3 -name \*.c works just fine.
    – KeithB
    Dec 15, 2010 at 14:19

Assuming you are in dir

find dir2 -name '*.c'

of course Iain's answer is also correct

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