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Starting from (notice the wildcards before and after "some text")

find . -type f -name '*some text*'

how can one exclude/ignore all hidden files and directories?

I've already been googling for far too long, came across some -prune and ! (exclamation mark) parameters, but no fitting (and parsimonious) example which just worked.

Piping | to grep would be an option and I'd also welcome examples of that; but primarily I'm interested in a brief one-liner (or a couple of stand-alone one-liners, illustrating different ways of achieving the same command-line goal) just using find.

ps: Find files in linux and exclude specific directories seems closely related, but a) is not accepted yet and b) is related-but-different-and-distinct, but c) may provide inspiration and help pinpoint the confusion!


find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f -name "whatever", works. The regex looks for "anything, then a slash, then a dot, then anything" (i.e. all hidden files and folders including their subfolders), and the "!" negates the regex.

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Doesn't help with what you asked in your edit but take a look at my question and its answer here: and also the link in the answer. – user25656 Mar 26 '13 at 6:25

This prints all files that are descendants of your directory, skipping hidden files and directories:

find . -not -path '*/\.*'

So if you're looking for a file with some text in its name, and you want to skip hidden files and directories, run:

find . -not -path '*/\.*' -type f -name '*some text*'


The -path option runs checks a pattern against the entire path string. * is a wildcard, / is a directory separator, \. is a dot (it has to be escaped to avoid special meaning), and * is another wildcard. -not means don't select files that match this test.

I don't think that find is smart enough to avoid recursively searching hidden directories in the previous command, so if you need speed, use -prune instead, like this:

 find . -type d -path '*/\.*' -prune -o -not -name '.*' -type f -name '*some text*' -print
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Note with the last one that you need that -print at the end! Also, not sure if -name '\.*' would be more efficient instead of -path` (because the path is searching subpaths, but these will be pruned out) – artfulrobot Apr 29 '14 at 11:18
What's the special meaning of . in this context? – frostschutz Jan 15 '15 at 15:40
@frostschutz The dot after find means the current directory: find will look at all files and directories under the current directory. The argument after path is a regular expression, where a dot would normally means "any character", to make it mean a literal dot we have to escape it with a backslash. The argument after -name isn't a regular expression, but it expands wildcards like ? and * like a shell does. – Flimm Jan 15 '15 at 17:23
find $DIR -not -path '*/\.*' -type f \( ! -iname ".*" \)

Excludes all hidden directories, and hidden files under $DIR

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This is the perfect answer. It recursively finds all files but excludes line items for directories and hidden files. Thanks! – KyleFarris Oct 8 '15 at 5:41

You don't have to use find for that. Just use globstar in shell it-self, like:

ls **/*foo*

It works in bash4 and zsh. If you don't have it enabled, do it by shopt -s globstar.

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You don't need ls for that! echo **/*foo* – Kevin Cox Mar 1 at 3:25

This is one of the few means of excludes dot-files that also works correctly on BSD, Mac and Linux:

find $PWD -name ".*" -prune -o -print
  • $PWD print the full path to the current directory so that the path does not start with ./
  • -name ".*" -prune matches any files or directories that start with a dot and then don't descend
  • -o -print means print the file name if the previous expression did not match anything. Using -print or -print0 causes all other expressions to not print by default.
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Please explain / elaborate on "alarmingly complicated"; the answers already given and your answer seem to give evidence to the contrary...? – nutty about natty Mar 24 at 22:13
"alarmingly complicated" is probably excessive. I reworded the answer to get to the point. I think the answer I posted is difficult to understand and is hard to see without a very careful reading of the man page. If you are only using GNU find then there are more possible solutions. – eradman Mar 28 at 14:50
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The answer I originally posted as an "edit" to my original question above:

find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f -name "whatever", works. The regex looks for "anything, then a slash, then a dot, then anything" (i.e. all hidden files and folders including their subfolders), and the "!" negates the regex.

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