I want to find the total count of the number of files under a folder and all its sub folders.


May be something like

find . -type f | wc -l

would do the trick. Try the command from the parent folder.

find . -name <pattern> -type f finds all files in . and subfolders. The result (a list of files found) is passed (|) to wc -l which counts the number of lines. -name <pattern> only looks for certain files.

  • 3
    The solution will fail on files which names contain a newline. – user unknown Apr 8 '11 at 14:23
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    @user unknown: find . -type f -ls | wc -l – arrange Nov 22 '13 at 21:24
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    even faster: find . -type f -print0 | tr -d -c '\0' | wc -c – arrange Nov 22 '13 at 21:44
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    @arrange: even faster: find . -type f -printf . | wc -c - I adopt the print for my solution instead of my -exec echo . – user unknown Nov 23 '13 at 3:41
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    Be aware that this also counts hidden files starting with a dot. I consider this a feature rather than a bug, but it is good to know. – cgogolin Jan 17 '16 at 13:13

Use the tree command. You might need to install the tree package.

It will list all the files and folders under the given folder and list a summary at the end.


To count files (even files without an extension) at the root of the current directory, use:

ls -l | grep ^- | wc -l

To count files (even files without an extension) recursively from the root of the current directory, use:

ls -lR | grep ^- | wc -l
  • 2
    Those will not count hidden files. – user unknown Apr 20 '19 at 2:42
  • True. I'm more inclined to accept and use your answer as the solution. – user38537 Apr 23 '19 at 18:17
  • Actually, not counting hidden files / files in hidden directories is an useful feature while working inside a subversion or git repository! – lfurini Apr 8 '20 at 13:00
  • And this is very slow on large folders because ls -l will sort the output. – Dr_Zaszuś Jul 12 '20 at 7:25

The fastest and easiest way, is to use tree. Its speed is limited by your output terminal, so if you pipe the result to tail -1, you'll get immediate result. You can also control to what directory level you like the results, using the -L option. For colorized output, use -C. For example:

$ tree share/some/directory/ | tail -1
558 directories, 853 files

$ tree -L 2 share/some/directory/ | tail -1
120 directories, 3 files

If it's not already there, you can get it here.

find -type f -printf . | wc -c

Don't count the output lines of find, because filenames, containing 99 newlines, will count as 100 files.

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    Filenames containing new lines is an incredibly rare edge case. – DisgruntledGoat Jul 22 '13 at 13:49
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    @DisgruntledGoat: So an error will be extremely hard to find. – user unknown Jul 23 '13 at 2:41
  • I like a good edge case, especially many years later. – user38537 Apr 20 '19 at 2:16

Use this command for each folder in the path

for D in *; do echo $D; find $D -type f| wc -l; done

You can use find . | wc -l

find . will list all files and folders and theire contents starting in your current folder.
wc -l counts the results of find

  • This solution counts also the folders, I gave the mark cause it matched my occasion that I didnt want to count them in :) – topless Apr 8 '11 at 12:12
  • The solution will fail on files which names contain a newline. – user unknown Apr 8 '11 at 14:23

find seems to be quicker than tree so I used below to count files in each directory of the current working directory (ignoring files in CWD) with allowing directories to have spaces:

ls -d */ | while read dir_line do echo -n "$dir_line :" find "$dir_line" -type f | wc -l done

  • Parsing output of ls is very bad idea. – sourav c. Jul 21 '16 at 14:49
  • Great code, how can I arrange the output lines say in an increasing or decreasing count of files – nightcrawler Nov 19 '17 at 10:08

I'd go with this option myself:

ls -alR | grep -c ^-

  • 4
    Please add some details ... – Pierre.Vriens May 29 '16 at 7:18

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