I am practicing a find command and the moment, and am curious about the usage of regular expressions in the find command(similar to grep). Does the command support it? If so, what are the options to enable it?

I tried looking for it in the man pages but was unsuccessful so far.


1 Answer 1


From man find:

-regex pattern
              File  name  matches regular expression pattern.  This is a match
              on the whole path, not a search.  For example, to match  a  file
              named `./fubar3', you can use the regular expression `.*bar.' or
              `.*b.*3', but not `f.*r3'.  The regular  expressions  understood
              by  find  are by default Emacs Regular Expressions, but this can
              be changed with the -regextype option.
  • Hi. Thanks for the answer. I saw that option, but being new to Linux, I don't understand if the regular expressions here should be used like in grep (ex. ^[a-z]*\.txt$) or simply as in a shell(ex. ls rando*m?text.txt)
    – Alex.Kh
    Oct 3, 2019 at 23:17
  • 3
    @Alex.Kh shell metacharacters are different from regular expressions - see the answer at Why does my regular expression work in X but not in Y? Oct 3, 2019 at 23:25
  • @steeldriver Oh Wow, that's actually a very nice answer about the difference between globs, regular expressions and extended regular expressions. I thought about asking something like that in the future, but I guess there's no need anymore. Thanks!
    – Alex.Kh
    Oct 3, 2019 at 23:28
  • @Alex.Kh if you want to dive even deeper, take a look at www.regular-expressions.info Oct 3, 2019 at 23:31
  • @steeldriver I will definitely look at the website. Just tell me please, does bash support everything that is mentioned there?
    – Alex.Kh
    Oct 4, 2019 at 2:24

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