What options do I need to use with find to exclude hidden files?

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    Aside: the reason there isn't some special support for this task is that the only thing special about files named with a leading '.' is that there are not listed by ls unless specifically requested: they are completely ordinary files in every respect, its just that ls lets you ignore them by default. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 16 '10 at 0:32
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    Question: do you want to hide something like .hidden/visible.txt? – Keith Thompson Oct 13 '11 at 0:20

I found this here:

find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f -name "whatever"
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  • Why not just \( ! -name '.*' \)? – user1686 Jun 16 '10 at 15:15
  • @grawity I just found that, I don't know entirely how it works. Would yours not only hide hidden files, but hidden directories and all their sub-content and hidden files in subfolders? – Jarvin Jun 16 '10 at 16:05
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    No, it wouldn't :/ But \( ! -path '*/.*' \) would. – user1686 Jun 16 '10 at 16:38
  • @grawity Ya, I guess I made an assumption about what the OP wanted... Your -name solution is probably the closest to what they were asking for. – Jarvin Jun 16 '10 at 18:07
  • @grawity&Dan: Isn't it ( !-path '^.*' ) ?? your solutions will ignore any file that has a '.' anywhere in the file name like a.exe, b.out etc.... – Nandhini Anand Jeyahar Jun 30 '11 at 8:27

It seems negation glob pattern is not well known. So you can use:

find . -name "[!.]*"
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This doesn't answer your question, but for the task of finding non-hidden files I like to let find find all the files then filter with grep.

find . -type f | grep -v '/\.'

Similar to your approach but perhaps a bit simpler.

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  • This was the only one of the one liners that worked for me. – entpnerd Aug 8 '16 at 9:06

Try the following find usage:

find . -type f -not -path '*/\.*'

Which would ignore all the hidden files (files and directories starting with a dot).

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If you aims is to find and grep, ripgrep does exclude hidden files by default, e.g.

rg --files

--files Print each file that would be searched without actually performing the search.

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Use fd, a simple, much faster and user-friendly alternative to find. By default, it:

  • Ignores hidden directories and files, by default.
  • Ignores patterns from your .gitignore, by default.

Check the Benchmark analysis.

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To find hidden files:

find -name '[.]*'

To find visible files:

find -name '[!.]*'

It is that simple.

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I wrote a script called findnh which I believe handles certain edge cases better than the answers to this question that I've been able to find on the web.


declare -a paths

while [ $# -ne 0 ]; do
  case "$1" in -*) break ;; esac

find "${paths[@]}" \( -name . -o -name .. -o \! \( -name '.*' -prune \) \) "$@"

For example, you can find non-hidden files and directories inside of an explicitly-specified hidden directory with a command like findnh ~/.hiddendir/, which will show ~/.hiddendir/file but not ~/.hiddendir/.superhiddenfile.

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    Nice bit of coding. Except, when I try findnh ~/.hiddendir/, I get nothing. Other than that, how is this different from ! -path '*/.*' and find … | grep -v '/\.'? – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Oct 22 '14 at 16:42

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