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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: unix.stackexchange.com/q/69164/15760 and also the link in the answer. –  user25656 Mar 26 '13 at 6:25

3 Answers 3

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 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 at 17:23
find $DIR -not -path '*/\.*' -type f \( ! -iname ".*" \)

Excludes all hidden directories, and hidden files under $DIR

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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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