Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Unix newbie could use your help.

I'm using Solaris 10 and need to find all files, excluding all hidden files and directories. The ultimate goal is to put this in a script that will delete files 60+ days old on a server.

I tried:

find . ! ( -name '.*' -prune )

but it finds no files at all.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe the problem is that you are excluding everything named ".*", and you are starting your search at "." (which matches your exclusion), so you are excluding everything. Also, I believe you are misusing the -prune flag (it's an action, like -print, and so isn't necessarily useful as part of a negated expression). Try this:

find . \( -name '.*' \! -name '.' -prune \) -o -print

This explicitly includes '.' in the search, and then excludes everything else matching .*. If you know that your starting point doesn't include any dotfiles, you can simplify this a bit:

find * \( -name '.*' -prune \) -o -print
share|improve this answer
larsks, thanks for your response. yes this does indeed work. i'm also curious, since i also need to delete the files, is the following syntax correct: find . ( -name '.*' \! -name '.' -prune ) -o -exec rm -f {} \ – anurag kohli Nov 20 '10 at 22:38
That is, although note that for a large number of files, it's generally better to pipe the output of find to "xargs rm". E.g., something like "find ... -print0 | xargs -0 rm -f" (the -0 tells find (and xargs) to null-terminate, instead of whitespace-terminate, filenames, which is important if your filesystem has filenames that contain spaces). Also, if this answer was helpful, please consider accepting it. Thanks! – larsks Nov 21 '10 at 1:31
+1 For versions of find that support it, you can get the performance provided by xargs (without using it) by using + to terminate the -exec portion of find instead of \;. – Dennis Williamson Nov 21 '10 at 1:44
dennis, solaris does not accept "xargs -0" so i will explore your suggestion. – anurag kohli Nov 22 '10 at 3:08

This should work:

find * | grep -v /\\.
share|improve this answer
jlliagre, thanks for your response. while it does work, i don't believe it will let me remove those files. that is, i need to tack on a "-exec rm -f {} \" (without quotes). please correct me if i'm wrong. – anurag kohli Nov 20 '10 at 22:36
If your directories and files have "regular" names, i.e. no embedded spaces or similar, you might use this: "find * -mtime +60 -type f | grep -v /\\. | xargs rm -f" . However, a find only command like the one suggested by larsks is more robust as it will properly handle odd names. – jlliagre Nov 20 '10 at 23:00
If you are okay using GNU grep (and find and xargs?), you can use: "find * -mtime +60 -type f -print0 | grep -zZv /\\. | xargs -0 rm -f" (not sure if the -Z option to grep is necessary; I think it isn't) – Slartibartfast Nov 20 '10 at 23:25
You need also gnu find and gnu xargs for this to work. These utilities are generally not all available on Solaris 10. They are with OpenSolaris/Solaris 11 though. The only advantage of my solution was it was shorter and simpler to understand than the "-prune" one. That is probably not the case anymore with this convoluted Gnuish one ... – jlliagre Nov 21 '10 at 8:15

need to find all files excluding all hidden (files and directories).

find . -name '[^.]*'

excluding all (hidden files) and directories.

find . -type f -name '[^.]*'

The ultimate goal is to put this in a script that will delete files 60+ days old on a server

find . -name '[^.]*' -mtime +59 | xargs rm -f

share|improve this answer
eduardo, unfortunately this doesn't work in solaris. it returns no files. however i haven't tried this on linux. thanks. – anurag kohli Nov 21 '10 at 0:50
This kind of works with Gnu find, however, non hidden files located in hidden directories are detected. This is probably not what hsw is looking for. – jlliagre Nov 21 '10 at 8:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.