GNU find (and others?) has a -true test along with the normal -name, -mode, -user and so on. From the man page:

-true Always true.

Every time I see the man page I notice this and wonder when it'd be useful. So, give me some examples of when it's useful :~)

3 Answers 3


Might useful for debuging when you are ANDing or ORing statements. So if you have a long command with a complex chain of arguments with lots of AND / OR between the statements, and something that isn't working like you expect, you could replace parts of it with -true to check your logic.

However, I am not sure if this is why it is there, but seems like a legitimate use.


When you want to list all files in find format to pipe into another program ?

I guess it must be more efficient than using -name "*" or something similar.

  • 2
    find with no arguments at all does that. Sep 22, 2009 at 12:17
  • 1
    Sure, but it's more explicit and has the same syntax with -true
    – Julien
    Sep 22, 2009 at 12:55
  • How so? Sep 22, 2009 at 13:16

Consider find -delete -o -true -print. It's not too useful, but it's a pointer that you can think of -true or -false as means to override an in-expression result of some command with side effects.

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