Given a nested directory, I would like to list all tif files with extension .tif, .TIF, .tiff, .TIFF.

Currently I'm using

find . -type f -iname *.TIF -print ; find . -type f -iname *.TIFF -print;

Using -iname allows me to be case-insensitive but it goes through the directory twice to get files with .tif and .tiff. Is there a better way to do this? Perhaps with brace expansion?

Why not *.tif*?

In some cases, my directories might have auxiliary files with extension .tif.aux.xml alongside the tiffs. I'd like to ignore those.

  • Make an alias with it in your source file for the command, such as "findtif" or something. Jul 5, 2021 at 21:14
  • 1
    why not do ren *.tiff *.tif first ? :-) (hint: don't)
    – Jeffrey
    Jul 5, 2021 at 22:26
  • @Jeffrey While I don't want to modify the data in question, I'm curious as to why this is discouraged. I mean aside from the fact that it won't fix the auxiliary file problem. Jul 6, 2021 at 6:19
  • Do you really need find? If you're using zsh (which supports recursive ** in a glob) for instance, echo **/*.{tif,tiff,TIF,TIFF} should be enough. Jul 6, 2021 at 16:19
  • @vikarjramun The OP's question is marked "bash," although bash does support this. However, this solution does not limit the search results to only include regular files, nor does it allow a lot of the other features that find has (which OP may need; not sure). Jul 7, 2021 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


find supports an “or” disjunction, -o:

find . -type f \( -iname \*.tif -o -iname \*.tiff \)

This will list all files whose name matches *.tif or *.tiff, ignoring case.

-print is the default action so it doesn’t need to be specified here. *, (, and ) are escaped so that they lose their significance for the shell.

  • Instead of grouping you can give an action to each pattern instead, e.g. find . -iname \*.tif -print -o -iname \*.tiff -print. This is useful when you want to skip traversing some directories when searching, e.g. find . -name .git -prune -o -name node_modules -prune -o -iname \*.tif -print -o -iname \*.tiff -print.
    – hlovdal
    Jul 6, 2021 at 23:45
  • @hlovdal there’s no need to specify an action when the action is always -print, so find . -iname \*.tif -o -iname \*.tiff; but you dropped the -type f. In your second example the actions are different, and I’m not sure it’s better than find . \( -name .git -o -name node_modules \) -prune -o -type f \( -iname \*.tif -o -iname \*.tiff \) -print — I guess it’s a question of habit. Jul 8, 2021 at 14:03
  • Unless I run a find command purely for screen output (which is not that often) I actually always use -print0.
    – hlovdal
    Jul 8, 2021 at 23:18

Shorter than using -o, use a regular expression instead

find . -type f -iregex '.*\.tiff?'

Brace expansion is not part of glob matching, so cannot be used with -(i)name.

  • 2
    Explain the regex, please.
    – Scottie H
    Jul 6, 2021 at 16:49
  • 1
    @ScottieH it matches everything ending with .tif or .tiff
    – loa_in_
    Jul 6, 2021 at 17:05
  • 7
    It is always better to err on the side of caution with these things. The pattern matches .tif followed by one or zero f characters. ?makes the previous character optional. Not trying to show off here, just trying to show how small the effort is. noi. :-)
    – Björn
    Jul 6, 2021 at 19:55
  • 2
    @ScottieH it matches names ending .tif with an optional final f
    – OrangeDog
    Jul 6, 2021 at 20:18
  • 2
    This is slower than the -o version, by not quite 50% in my tests, although that is probably not significant in most scenarios ;-) — certainly not compared to the I/O time on many systems if the directories aren’t already cached. Jul 7, 2021 at 21:12

Here is a simple hack to get your desired output assuming you are in the top-level directory of the tree where you want to run the find command. Disclaimer: It will not fit advanced usage or find scenarios:

find -type f |egrep '.tif$|.tiff$|.TIF$|.TIFF$'


  1. By default, gnu find recurses into the current directory and prints the output to stdout (no need of a dot or -print option).
  2. The egrep allows extended regular expressions. The $ at the end means that the filename has to end in, example, tif. Hence, foo.tif.bar will not be considered as a match.
  3. The pipes are an OR to match any of the patterns.
  • Given that GNU find includes a lot of non-standard features and there are plenty of systems which do not use GNU utilities, I would err on the side of caution and avoid extensions which are easily avoided (such as not specifying .). This is also a much less efficient solution than Stephen's. Jul 7, 2021 at 19:40
  • this will fail if there are any files whose names contain newlines. And it also fails to find files with mixed cases like .Tif, .tiFF...
    – phuclv
    Jul 8, 2021 at 7:33
  • @phulcv Correct. However, this was not part of the question, There was no need to downvote :) Will, I added a disclaimer that it would work only for simple cases (he is a newbie and I was trying to avoid advanced usage). Jul 9, 2021 at 1:28

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