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How can I use find to select files that have been written and not modified in the last minute?

I know I can do it the other way around, find files modified in the last 60 seconds with -mtime -60s, but I want the ones that haven't been modified in the last 60 seconds.

I use Linux and get this error if I use seconds:

find ??/ -mtime +60s -name blah.tsv
find: invalid argument `+60s' to `-mtime'
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Use find /path -type f -mtime +60s

The - just before the digits is not a regular "argument dash", but means "less than". + then is "more than".

From man find:

All primaries which take a numeric argument allow the number to be preceded by a plus sign (``+'') or a minus sign (``-''). A preceding plus sign means ``more than n'', a preceding minus sign means ``less than n'' and neither means ``exactly n''.

It should be noted that for exactly n, the time is rounded. So 1 (1 day) does not mean 86400 seconds.

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Strictly speaking, +60 is not the opposite of -60, for the same reason less than is not the opposite of greater than: Both exclude the exact value they compare to. But your question does not indicate which behavior you want, exactly. – Daniel Beck Jan 27 '12 at 16:56
This isn't exactly the same indeed, since ! reverts the original "query". But agreed, the OP doesn't specify what he wants. – Karolos Jan 27 '12 at 17:02
The day after, the OP stated it is on Linux, not Mac OS X. If that would have changed the answer, can you update it? – Peter Mortensen Sep 9 '12 at 12:43
Yeah, this doesn't work on Linux. At least RHEL 5.6. SiegeX's response below does work, however. – MattPark Jan 9 '13 at 19:07
This doesn't work on CentOS. As supposed it works in Mac OS X – trante Oct 29 '13 at 18:45

Although you tagged this OSX, -mtime +60s is not portable. The following is, however:

find . -type f -mmin +1


$ ls *
four.txt  one.txt  three.txt  two.txt

$ touch foo && find . -mmin +1
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You should be able to use

find . ! -mtime -60s
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Requires parenthesis for me: find . !( -mtime -60s ) – Oliver Salzburg Jan 27 '12 at 16:51
@OliverSalzburg: On my Mac, it works OK without the parenthesis (Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0). – Karolos Jan 27 '12 at 16:52

The second - in -mtime -60s is not an option delimiter.

-mtime is an option, and it is followed by an option argument. The option argument is -60s, and the - in it is part of the option argument itself, not an option delimiter. It means "less than 60 seconds". Option arguments 60s and +60s mean "equal to 60 seconds" and "greater than 60 seconds", respectively.

The Apple MacOS manual and the FreeBSD manual mention the + and - prefixes in exactly one place, and forget to explain anywhere what they are. This is what they are.

(The GNU Info manual for GNU find has the same omission, interestingly enough. However, GNU find's syntax for times is somewhat different to the BSD and MacOS find syntax.)

Further reading

  • Apple incorporated (2008-02-24). find MacOS 10 manual page. MacOS 10 Developer Library.
  • find(1). 2010-03-17. FreeBSD General Commands Manual. FreeBSD Project.
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It's even worse than just explaining it in exactly one place: All other options refer to atime for the time format, but that does also not explain the prefixes. It's a separate section that isn't referenced. – Daniel Beck Jan 27 '12 at 16:59
Indeed; and you'll find that I wrote that. I wrote "mention", and "forget to explain anywhere". ☺ – JdeBP Jan 27 '12 at 17:05
I didn't mean to contradict you, just wanted to point out that the exactly one place is also the worst possible place from a "let's just skim the man page" POV. – Daniel Beck Jan 27 '12 at 17:07
But it isn't explained in exactly one place. It's not explained in any place at all. For a set of manual pages that is generally written and edited fairly well, in my experience, it's a surprising omission. – JdeBP Jan 27 '12 at 17:28
Heh! That's because you magically know the answer already and can connect the twain when reading the document, filling in what isn't actually written. The people who don't have (y)our foreknowledge and are reading the manual in order to find out have to wonder why there's no explanation of what a "modifier" is anywhere. ☺ – JdeBP Jan 27 '12 at 18:11

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