Linux/Unix: Find Command Ignore Case Insensitive Search


am a new Linux and Unix-command line user. I am using find command to search file called “fooBar.conf.sample” in my home directory. I do not know the case, it could be uppercase, lowercase, or a mix of both. How can search a file and ignore case on a Linux or Unix-like system?


The find command recursively descends the directory tree for each path provided, evaluating an expression. It is mainly used to search files and directories on Linux and Unix-like systems. The syntax is as follows to search files according to given criteria. You can search for files by name, owner, group, type, permissions, date, and other criteria:

find dir-to-look criteria what-to-do


find [options] dir-to-look criteria what-to-do

In this example, search your $HOME for a file called hello.c:

find $HOME -name  hello.c  -print

This will search the whole $HOME (i.e. /home/username/) system for any files named “hello.c” and display their pathnames:



However, it will not match HELLO.C or HellO.C. To match is case insensitive pass the -iname option as follows:

find $HOME -iname  hello.c  -print

Sample outputs:





Finally, pass the -type f option to only search for files:

find /dir/to/search -type f -iname  fooBar.conf.sample  -print

find $HOME -type f -iname  fooBar.conf.sample  -print

A note about AIX/HP-UX and other old Unix-like systems

The -iname works either on GNU or BSD (including OS X) version find command. If your version of find command does not supports -iname, try the following syntax using grep command:

find $HOME | grep -i  hello.c

find $HOME -name  *  -print | grep -i  hello.c

OR try

find $HOME -name  [hH][eE][lL][lL][oO].[cC]  -print

Sample outputs:





See also

Solaris UNIX Case-Insensitive Find File Search

See all find command examples from our /faq/ sections.

Man pages – find(1),grep(1)



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