Find Recently Modified Files

Over the past couple of years, I’ve done a lot of articles about file management; this one will help you find recently modified files. There’s nothing too complicated about this, so most of my readers should be able to follow along.

There are a number of reasons to find recently modified files. Perhaps you need to assess a file system that shouldn’t have been altered. You may need to do so for some accountability process. Then again, you could want to check a system to see what’s changing and eating up your disk space.

You might want to find recently modified files for all sorts of reasons. Heck, you might have forgotten where you placed a file but recall that you did so within the past 48 hours. This can help you narrow down your search, helping you find the file more quickly.

Of course, this will be in the terminal. That’s how we do things around here. This will also be portable. You need only the find command and you’ll certainly have that available by default.

The find Command:

As I said, you’ll need the find command. This will be installed by default. You can verify that find is available with this command:

The output should match this:

Next, you’ll want to check the man page (with man find) which will show you that this is the correct tool for the job. Notably, it says this:

find – search for files in a directory hierarchy

Yup. That’s what we want to do. 

The find command is very capable and will seem complicated to the newer Linux users. It may even push some more advanced users away. I aim to make Linux approachable, so we’ll only be worried about a couple of flags.

The type Flag:

The first flag we’ll be using is the type flag. If you check the man page, you’ll see that there are many types. We’ll specify f which signifies we wish to find regular files.

The newermt Flag:

While you’re on the man page you will see references to newer but nothing specific about newermt. It’s a reference to time. Specifically, it means less than or equal to. For example, a file that’s one day old will be listed in the results if you ask for files one day old or newer. That’s what we’ll be doing in this article.

Find Recently Modified Files:

While you will find that you have the find command available in any distro I can think of, you’ll also need to know that this is an exercise that requires the terminal. There are GUI options out there, but we’ll be using the terminal. So, press CTRL + ALT + T and let’s get started!

The syntax of the command would be this:

In our case, we’re going to use the ~/Downloads directory in our examples.

The "time frame" is where things get interesting. For the find command, you can almost use plain English. The command understands seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.

Let’s say you want to scan your Downloads directory for files that you have added within the past four weeks. Well, simply use this command:

If you want to search for files within the past three months, use this command:

In the case of that command, it will find any files newer than (or equal to) three months of age. It’s a very simple command to use once you understand the syntax.

You do have to use numbers. 

If you want to quickly test this, try the following:

You could have even specified that in seconds:

You can also put dates in there.

Let’s say you want to find files newer than February 1st, 2024. You can do that. If you live in the US, you might have to use a date format that you’re not used to. So, the basic syntax would be:

Or, for today’s exercise:

I’m not sure if it’s possible to tell it to use the US date formatting. I was unable to make that work in the two attempts I made at it. Let’s just say that I didn’t invest a whole lot of energy.

There’s a lot more to the find command, but this is one way to use it. The goal is small bites that help make Linux more acceptable. Even I can be overwhelmed and I’ve been doing this for years.

Closure:

Well, if you’ve ever wanted to find recently modified files, you now have the tools to do so. While there’s a lot to this command, it’s possible to use the command without being fully versed in the matter. You don’t have to know everything to take advantage of the tools. Just like you don’t have to be a carpenter to know how to swing a hammer well enough to seat a nail.

Hmm… This article isn’t even all that long!

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Short: Automatically Add An Extension To Multiple Files In The Linux Terminal

This short article will have limited usage as it shows how to automatically add an extension to multiple files in the Linux terminal. This is something not everyone needs to know, but something you need to know if you need to know it.

Let me explain…

First, I wrote a snippet of terminal code to help out a forum user. I decided that it was valuable enough to share with the larger world. As it’s just a snippet, it can be a short article.

In this case, the user had recovered many images and the recovered file names did not have a .jpg extension. They were going to manually edit a thousand files to add the .jpg extension. That’s not something you need to do. You can automatically add an extension to multiple files in the Linux terminal.

So, how does this work…

Automatically Add An Extension To Multiple Files:

Open your terminal and navigate to the appropriate directory. You can usually use your GUI file manager to navigate to the directory and then open the directory from that window. Otherwise, just use the cd command to navigate to the right directory.

The syntax to add the extension to all those files in that directory would be:

What we’re doing is using the rename command to search for anything with zero to one character and the asterisk is all characters including spaces. You should have rename available by default. I first tried using an asterisk in both places, but the command was having none of it.

If you want to test this, open your terminal and try this:

That should show you the newly created files.

Next, just run:

Now confirm that you’ve made the changes:

Your output should match this one:

See? You’ll have added .jpg to all the files in that directory. We could use something like the find command and make it recursive, but this is good enough.

Closure:

There you have it. You have a short article that will show you how to add an extension to multiple file types. I figured this was useful enough to be shared with the wider world, maybe saving someone a bit of time and showing others how easily you can process things in the Linux terminal.

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Remove Files By Extension

This should be a quick and easy article, easy enough for anyone to follow, as it covers how you can remove files by extension in Linux. There are a few tips and tricks you can use for this and we’ll be managing files in the Linux terminal. Read on to learn more!

As an aside, I’m thinking about doing some ‘shorts’, which would be short articles that cover a simple topic and do so concisely. If you have any thoughts on this, feel free to opine in a comment.

While Linux doesn’t necessarily care about file extensions, you’ll still often have file extensions. They’re useful for the user, as a way to visually determine a file’s usage quickly. If you see a .sh file, you can guess that it’s a script. When you see a .deb file, you can be reasonably sure it’s a package. You can assume a .png file is an image file.

Today, we’ll be using the ‘rm’ command and wildcards. We’ll be learning how to remove files by extension in the terminal. So, be prepared for that.

The ‘rm’ Command:

You won’t need to install anything for this article. You certainly won’t need to install the rm package. The rm package is a part of the core utilities. You can confirm that rm is available by entering rm --version in the terminal. (I do wish that was consistent, but it is not.)

If you don’t know, you can check the man page, to see the rm command is described like so:

rm – remove files or directories

As the goal is to remove files by extension, this seems like it’d be a good tool for the job at hand. Sure enough, it is!

Remove Files By Extension In Linux:

If you read the intro, and so few of you do, you’d know that we’re going to remove files by extension in Linux – with the terminal. So, open a terminal. More often than not, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, the syntax is as follows:

Let’s use .deb as an example. If you want to remove all the .deb files in the folder you’re in, try this command:

The wildcard (the asterisk) means any characters can be there. You’ll remove foo.deb and bar.deb with the above command.

While that’s all there is to it, you can use wildcards for other things.

You can use a wildcard to match other patterns. If you had fle_1_foo and file_2_foo, you could remove them with this command:

If you had file_foo_1 and file_foo_2, you could remove them all with this command:

Pretty sweet, huh?

There’s more to the rm command. If you wanted to do this with folders, you’ll find that rm doesn’t do that by default. So, just add the -r flag to your command, like so:

If you’re having issues removing something with the rm command, there’s a flag you can use to force it. That flag is the -f flag and it’s used something like this:

I guess this article is more about the wildcard than it is about learning how to remove a file by extension. That’s just one way to introduce people to the concept, now that I look at it this way.

The wildcard is a pretty powerful tool in Linux, a tool that’s very useful in the terminal and while doing advanced file management. Knowing how (and when) to use a wildcard will do you well. If you have any questions, you can always ask and I’ll see if I have an answer.

Closure:

So, we’ve covered how to use a wildcard to remove a file by extension. You can do this with folders and other files, not just by extension. What you’d be doing would be pattern recognition and Linux is more than happy to help you along the way. It’s a pretty powerful tool and a tool that every Linux user should be familiar with.

Hmm… I guess 700+ words is short these days. Ah well…

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Monitor Progress With RSYNC

When you’re moving a lot of files around you might want to know the progress, so here’s how you monitor progress with rsync. This will likely be an intentionally short article, an easy article, as it’s another weekend article – this time about rsync and how you can monitor the progress.

The rsync application is a tool for transferring and synchronizing files between two places. It’s a very handy application and rsync has a whole lot of features. It’s possible to write a half-dozen rsync articles and not even scratch the surface. We’ve had rsync available since the mid-90s and you can visit the rsync project page.

You’ll almost certainly not need to install anything to use rsync. It’s pretty much available with every distro though I’ll mention ahead of time that this is a terminal-based application. By the way, if you’re not happy with your terminal, you can change to a new default terminal easily enough.

There are frontends for rsync, such as luckyBackup, but we’ll just be using a plain old terminal for this article. If you play with luckyBackup, you’ll discover that you can use it to spit out the actual rsync command you’ve configured and use it in the terminal without any additional overhead.

RSYNC:

If it’s not obvious, the tool we’ll be using is rsync. Specifically, we’re going to monitor the progress as rsync synchronizes your data from one place to another. It’s going to be a very easy article, I promise. Well, I think it’s easy. I suppose I could be wrong and you find it more difficult.

You shouldn’t need to install anything to follow along. You can first verify that you have rsync installed and available. Use this command:

If you don’t have rsync available immediately, I’m sure you can install it from one of your default repositories. If it’s not installed by default, let me know. I’m curious…

Anyhow, you can check the man page (with man rsync) to learn more about this application. It’s a rather long and complicated man page, but rsync is described as:

rsync – a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool

And that’s what we want to do. We want to monitor the progress of file transfers. So, that’s what we’re going to do.

Except, I’m also going to show you how to make a simple backup of your data as a bit of bonus information. Let’s get on with it!

Monitor Progress With RSYNC:

Now, I did tell you that you’ll need an open terminal for this. That’s easily done. More often than not, you can open your default terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T. Otherwise, you can find it in your application menu.

With your terminal now open, your standard command would be something like this following rsync command:

To monitor progress with rsync, you’d add the --progress flag, like so:

That’s all well and good, but let’s pretend you want to make a backup of your home directory with rsync and that you want to monitor the progress. Well, you can happily use rsync with directories. This is going to be pretty easy!

The -r flag means ‘recursive’. That means it will include the files in the directory you specified, find the additional directories within that directory, and include those files. It will keep digging until there are no more directories unless you decide to specify a maximum depth.

Let’s further assume you have a USB device plugged in and you want to store your home directory on that USB. Let’s also assume that the USB’s called ‘backup’. The command for that would just be something very close to this command:

That might look something like this:

showing the progress of rsync
As you see, it’s easy to monitor the progress of rsync. Yes, that’s Windows ME. Don’t judge me!

That command will move all the files from your home directory (as we know that ~/ is a short way to say your /home/user directory) to your USB device. You’ll have then backed up your personal data. The second time you run it, it will sync those files – only replacing those files that have changed since the last time you ran the command.

You can easily use that command (modified for your needs, of course) to make a backup of your home directory. This is the most important data on your system. The rest is just system files and those are easily restored with a fresh installation.

While it would be possible to use rsync to backup the entire drive, it’d try to do stupid things like backup the /media directory. You’d need an advanced command for that and that’s beyond the scope of this article.

As it stands, the backup bit is extra. This article is just about how you can monitor the progress with rsync. It’s a pretty trivial thing, but something you can learn about quickly.

Closure:

Yeah, it’s a pretty short and easy article. At least I hope it’s easy. I did make a promise, after all! This one should be easy enough for anyone because it’s not all that hard to learn how to monitor progress with rsync. Also, with a reasonably large file, you can do things like check transfer rates, be it over a network or from one drive to another. There’s all sorts of fun!

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Find A File While Ignoring Case Sensitivity

Today we’ll have a fairly short article as we’re simply discussing a way to find a file while ignoring case sensitivity. This can be a pretty handy command to have in your toolbox, so I’ll do what I can to turn this into an article. If you’re into finding files, especially with the terminal, you might just want to read this article!

I might even give you a bonus method! Maybe… It depends on how well you behave yourself! Don’t make me pull this car over!

Alright… Back on topic…

So, what is case sensitivity? We usually have lowercase files and commands. Linux is case-sensitive. If you type sudo APT update nothing is going to happen. Why? Because apt is lowercase. Similarly, a file named  FOO.bar is not the same as foo.bar.

If you try to perform an operation on a file with the wrong case, the operation will not take place. The file isn’t found, because you’ve used the wrong case. In the above command, not even SUDO apt update will work. You have to use lowercase.

Much of Linux is in lowercase. You can’t even use capital letters in your username, by default. Sure, you can force Linux to accept a bad username, but that’s not what the system is expecting.

So too are filenames. Well, mostly… Sometimes you will come across files that use mixed case or maybe all capital letters. You might even have created a file yourself with mixed case letters. When performing an operation on those files, you need to use the correct case.

Now, you can find files while ignoring the case. That’s what this article is all about accomplishing. It shouldn’t be too long.

The Find Command:

The find command is used in the terminal, so we will have to open the terminal to follow along with today’s article. However, on the plus side, you absolutely shouldn’t need to install anything. This find command should be available by default – unless you’re on an extremely stripped-down version of Linux.

If you check the man page, you’ll see that find is the right application for this.

find – search for files in a directory hierarchy

As we’re trying to find files (while ignoring case sensitivity) that seems like one of the good tools for the job – and it is.

Find A File While Ignoring Case Sensitivity:

As mentioned above, we do this in the terminal. More often than not, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. Otherwise, you can open your terminal via your application menu.

With your terminal now open, let’s change directories and create a file.

You can confirm that the file exists by running the ls command.

Next, try this command:

Unless you have another file with that name, you will not get any results from that command. That’s why you need the -iname flag. Simply add that to your command and you can find the file while ignoring case sensitivity.

So, in our case, it’d be:

Sure enough, that finds HeLLo.txt.

If you don’t feel like changing the directory, you can change the command up a bit. The syntax would look like this:

So, in our example:

And, sure enough, that finds the file while ignoring case sensitivity! 

Pretty neat and pretty easy, right?

How about that bonus?

Find A File While Ignoring Case Sensitivity (with locate):

You probably don’t have locate installed by default. You’ll need to install it.

To that end, read this previous article:

And Still Another Way To Find Files By Extension

Specifically this part is of interest (saving you a click):

With your terminal open, we can get mlocate installed with one of the following commands:

Debian/Ubuntu:

Arch/Manjaro/etc:

RHEL/CentOS/etc:

OpenSUSE/GeckoLinux/etc:

There are other package managers. If your package manager isn’t covered, just go ahead and search for “mlocate” and you’ll likely find that it’s available by default.

So, with locate now installed, the syntax is also very simple. You simply need the -i flag to find files while ignoring case sensitivity.

First, we should update the locate database:

Next, try this command:

That will not find the file in your ~/Documents directory. Add the flag and run the command again, like so:

If you want to run that locate command in a specific directory, you can do that. The syntax is a little different than many other commands, but it’s easy enough.

Or, in our case, it’d look like this:

Sure enough, that outputs the information exactly as planned. It will happily ignore the case sensitivity and find your file named HeLLo.txt.

And now you’ve learned two ways to find a file while ignoring case sensitivity. One of the ways is even a nice bonus way to do accomplish this goal.

Closure:

As the headline and opening paragraph suggested, you can find a file while ignoring case sensitivity. It’s not particularly taxing and there are multiple ways to accomplish this goal. I figured I’d give some ‘bonus’ information with this one and share how to find a file while ignoring case sensitivity with the locate command used in the previous article. Why not?

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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