I need to search for files that has no user OR no group.

find / -nouser -o -nogroup

I think this is OK. But, I don't want to search NFS shares. How can I exclude the NFS shares in the find command?

  • 2
    Try find / -fstype ext4 -nouser -o -nogroup Substitute ext3, etc. if you're not using ext4
    – doneal24
    Feb 6, 2013 at 15:18
  • 1
    please post this as answer Feb 6, 2013 at 15:40
  • @DougO'Neal you should post that as an answer. Feb 6, 2013 at 15:55
  • 1
    @DougO'Neal, that wouldn't stop find from descending into nfs FS, just not to print the files it would find there. Feb 6, 2013 at 22:58
  • For using -exec with something like du combining -fstype and -xdev (aka -mount) seems necessary Jan 19, 2017 at 9:00

4 Answers 4


The closest you will probably get is to use -xdev , which means "Don't descend directories on other filesystems." Then you'll need to specify which filesystems you do want to search.


With GNU find, you can use the -fstype predicate:

find / -fstype nfs -prune -o \( -nouser -o -nogroup \) -print

Having said that, hymie's approach probably makes more sense: white-list what FS you want to search rather than black-listing those that you don't want to search.

If you want to only include jfs2 file systems (assuming / is on jfs2), then, you need to write it:

find / ! -fstype jfs2 -prune -o \( -nouser -o -nogroup \) -print

Don't write it:

find / -fstype jfs2 \( -nouser -o -nogroup \) -print

As while that would stop find from printing files in non-jfs2 filesystem, that would not stop it from crawling those non-jfs2 filesystems (which you need -prune for).

Note that -a (AND which is implicit if omitted) has precedence over -o (OR), so you need to watch whether parenthesis are needed or not.

The above correct command is short for:

find / \( \( ! -fstype jfs2 \) -a -prune \) -o \
  \( \( -nouser -o -nogroup \) -a -print \)

Easiest to to use -not

 find / -not -fstype nfs -nouser -o -nogroup



I tried specific find options for this and encountered problems, so switched to this method:

find $(mount | awk '!/:/ {printf "%s ", $3}') -xdev

This should search all file systems which are not NFS mounted.

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