I want to find within my project directory, but I'm only looking for files that are tracked by Git. Is there a command I can use as a filter for the find output (or any other means) to limit the results to only the files that Git is tracking?


find . -name '*.postinst' | git-no-untracked

What do I use for git-no-untracked above?

  • git ls-files | grep 'postinst$' may do the job – Httqm May 24 at 9:51
  • @Httqm, yes that would work for this simple case (and thanks), but less good when the find command has other predicates (such as -mtime). Maybe I might get somewhere by using comm to compare git ls-files with the find output. I'll have a go at that. – Toby Speight May 24 at 12:55
  • Comparing using comm works, if you're careful to get the paths consistent (i.e. find . breaks it because of the leading ./ in the pathnames). I'll write an answer. – Toby Speight May 24 at 13:02

If switching to zsh is an option, you can have the list of tracked files in an array:

tracked_files=(${(0)"$(git ls-files -z)"})

And then do the intersection of the list of files you're interested in like:


You can do with zsh globs most of what you can do with find. For instance, if you want only regular files last modified in the last 2 hours:


Or you could directly search for your pattern in the list of tracked files:


Or define a glob qualifier function that checks if the file is in the list of tracked files:

istracked() ((${tracked_files[(Ie)${1-$REPLY}]}))

  • Sounds interesting. I'm a Bash user by default/preference, but this certainly gives an insight into what zsh could do for me. – Toby Speight May 24 at 14:13

What about this one :

find . -name '*.postinst' | xargs -I something bash -c 'git ls-files | grep $(basename something)'

Following the hint to use git ls-files, I created a short script to run a command and filter its output using comm. The subtleties are that comm requires sorted input, and the lines have to be an exact textual match (so no prefixes such as ./ that the typical find command might produce).

set -eu

    cat <<EOF
   $0 cmd [args... ]

Runs _cmd_ (with arguments, if provided) and filter the output to
files currently tracked by Git.

    $0 find . -name README -mmin -60


trap 'usage >&2' ERR

case "${1:-}" in
        exit 0
        usage >&2
        exit 1

exec comm -12 \
     <("$@" | xargs -d '\n' -n 1 realpath -s --relative-to=. | sort) \
     <(git ls-files | sort)

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