This simple tutorial will show you how to find/search files in Ubuntu 20.04 using command find.

We will show you how to search a specific file name ,also introduce how to search/find files recursively using wildcard match.

Search files recursively using wildcard

find /path-to-search -name "file*"

For example:

root@ubuntu2004:~# find /etc -name "file*"


  • /etc is the directory path where to search. For current directory . (dot) could be used
  • -name is an option
  • file* will search all files and directories whose name started with file
  • Note double quotes is required

If you are not using root , you may get some permission denied error ,to suppress it you can use command:

find /path-to-search -name "file*" 2>/dev/null

search files case-insensitive

find /path-to-search -iname "file*"

Here -iname Like -name, but the match is case insensitive. For example, the patterns fo*' and F??’ match the file names Foo', FOO’, foo', fOo’, etc. The pattern *foo* will also match a file called ‘.foo‐bar’

j@ubuntu2004:/tmp/dir1$ ls
foo  FOO
j@ubuntu2004:/tmp/dir1$ find . -name "FO*"
j@ubuntu2004:/tmp/dir1$ find . -iname "FO*"
find -L /path-to-search -name "file*"

By default find doesn’t follow symbolic link , as you know symbolic link is often used in linux ,so option -L need to be used if we want to follow symbolic link.

Search file only but not directory

find . -type f  -name 'file*'


  • . (dot) means search in current directory
  • -type f stands search file only(but not directory)


We have showed you how to search files recursively based on wildcard match using find command in ubuntu 20.04.

More find command examples can be found Linux find command examples