I want to find all directories and subdirectories in my current folder, excluding those that are hidden (or belonging to those that are hidden). The following do not work:

find . -type d -name "[!.]*"

because I think it only avoids empty hidden folders. Something like this is matched


4 Answers 4


I'm assuming you're classing directories that start with a dot as "hidden". To avoid descending into such directories you should use -prune.

find . -mindepth 1 -type d \( -name '.*' -prune -o -print \)

This starts in the current directory (we could have specified * here but that presupposes your wildcard is not set to include dot files/directories - for example bash's dotglob). It then matches only on directories, but not considering . itself. The section in brackets tells find that if the name matches .* then it's to be pruned, so that neither it nor its descendants are to be considered further; otherwise print its name.

If you don't have the (non-POSIX) -mindepth option you could use this alternative. Arguably this is better than the original solution I've suggested but I'm going to leave both in the answer

find . -type d \( -name '.?*' -prune -o -print \)
  • Perfect. One more question: I don't understand why if I skip the -mindepth 1 part in your line, I get zero matches.
    – fich
    Sep 27, 2020 at 18:09
  • 6
    @fich Because the current working directory, ., is the first one seen by find. It is matched by -type -d and -name '.*', hence it is pruned, i.e. is not descended into (nor printed, because -prune succeeds). . is at depth 0, -mindepth 1 prevents find from testing it.
    – fra-san
    Sep 27, 2020 at 18:14
  • -o is an "or" operation, where if the first argument is true the second argument is not evaluated.
    – NeilG
    May 29 at 7:09
  • @NeilG yes, that's right. What's the issue?
    – roaima
    2 days ago
  • No issue, @roaima. Information.
    – NeilG
    2 days ago

With zsh:

print -rC1 -- **/*(N/)

(zsh globs skip hidden files by default).

Or to do anything with those dirs:

for dir (**/*(N/)) anything with $dir

or, if anything can take more than one file at a time, with GNU xargs or compatible:

xargs -r0a <(print -rNC1 -- **/*(N/)) anything with


LC_ALL=C find . -name '.?*' -prune -o -type d -print

LC_ALL=C is needed otherwise it would fail to skip hidden dirs whose name contains sequences of bytes that don't form valid character in the user's locale. See also how the order of the predicates makes sure we avoid applying -type d (which potentially involves an extra expensive lstat() system call) on those files whose name starts with ..

That one also outputs . (the current working directory), add a ! -name . before -type if you don't want it or change it to:

LC_ALL=C find . ! -name . \( -name '.*' -prune -o -type d -print \)

Do do anything with the files, replace -print with -exec anything with {} ';' or -exec anything with {} + if anything can take more than one file at once.


An alternative is the open source tool Fd:


by default hidden items are excluded, so you can simply do:

fd -t d

If you want to unhide items, then you can use one or both of these:

-H, --hidden            Search hidden files and directories
-I, --no-ignore         Do not respect .(git|fd)ignore files

simply use:

find . ! -path '*/.*' -type d
  • 1
    Your answer is more simple than roaima's, but it matches . . This is solved with -mindepth 1 as in roaima's answer: find . -mindepth 1 ! -path '*/.*' -type d. Thanks!
    – fich
    Sep 27, 2020 at 18:08
  • @fich . represent your current directory and not represent that is hidden to exclude; however you could use find * ! -path '*/.*' -type d to avoid that to be reported. Sep 28, 2020 at 5:20
  • If you have shopt dotglob set then * will also match dot files. Using find . -mindepth 1 avoids that
    – roaima
    Sep 28, 2020 at 8:28
  • It's also missing a list of files/dirs for find to descend on (some find implementations will assume you meant . there but not all). Sep 28, 2020 at 14:17
  • 1
    While ! -path '*/.*' will exclude hidden files and file in hidden dirs (at least when their names are valid text in the user's locale), it will still descend into hidden directories, so it's less efficient than solutions that prune those hidden directories. Sep 28, 2020 at 14:19

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