I would like to search for files that would not match 2 -name conditions. I can do it like so :

find /media/d/ -type f -size +50M ! -name "*deb" ! -name "*vmdk"

and this will yield proper result but can I join these 2 condition with OR somehow ?


4 Answers 4


yes, you can:

find /media/d/ -type f -size +50M ! \( -name "*deb" -o -name "*vmdk" \)

Explanation from the POSIX spec:

! expression : Negation of a primary; the unary NOT operator.

( expression ): True if expression is true.

expression -o expression: Alternation of primaries; the OR operator. The second expression shall not be evaluated if the first expression is true.

Note that parenthesis, both opening and closing, are prefixed by a backslash (\) to prevent evaluation by the shell.

  • 21
    If you're doing -exec or any other action on the find results, remember to parenthese \( \) the whole criteria, otherwise -exec will apply only to the last -or-ed criterion. To work on all of them, parenthese them: find \( <criterion> -o <criterion> \) -exec <command> Jun 13, 2019 at 20:38
  • 1
    this should be the accepted answer
    – swe
    Sep 29, 2020 at 13:17
  • 3
    one may want to consider -iname instead of -name for case insensitivity Oct 9, 2020 at 16:57
  • also -execdir is preferable wrt -exec Jun 23, 2021 at 9:02

You can do this using a negated -regex, too:-

 find ./ ! -regex  '.*\(deb\|vmdk\)$'
  • 9
    Note that -regex is less portable than -name.
    – jw013
    Oct 12, 2012 at 13:54
  • 2
    Should not be the accepted answer. Question asks for a solution using multiple name patterns with find -name. Serge's answer answers that.
    – Veverke
    Nov 24, 2020 at 12:04

You were close to a solution:

find /media/d/ -type f -size +50M -and ! -name "*deb" -and ! -name "*vmdk"

You can combine the following logic operators in any sequence:

-a   -and      - operator AND
-o   -or       - operator OR
!              - operator NOT
  • 1
    It doesn't look like you've actually changed the effect of the user's find command. Note that -a is the default operator if an explicit operator is missing. Also note that if you use -o, there must be a logical grouping of the two name tests. You do this with \( ... \).
    – Kusalananda
    Feb 7, 2020 at 12:29
  • Absolutely incredible. This 'find' command is changing my life. Nov 19, 2020 at 6:31

You can use regular expressions as in:

find /media/d -type f -size +50M ! -regex '\(.*deb\|.*vmdk\)'

Backslash is the escape character; . matches a single character, and * serves to match the previous character zero or more times, so .* means match zero or more characters.

  • 1
    Adding an explanation would make your answer better.
    – N.N.
    Oct 12, 2012 at 14:01
  • You're right. Added some explanations.
    – user22304
    Oct 12, 2012 at 14:09

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