Ferry Boender

Programmer, DevOpper, Open Source enthusiast.


Excluding results of a ‘find’ command (inverting tests)

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

In kind of a follow up to my previous post on using find and sed to search and replace multiple files, I found out something else.

I needed to find and replace something in every file, except for any files which had “.svn” in them. After struggling for a few fruitless minutes with -regex, I stumbled upon this example in the manual page:

find /sbin /usr/sbin -executable \! -readable -print

   Search for files which are executable but not readable.

The \! allows us to invert the tests after it. Perfect! All we need to do is use -regex to do our excluding:

find . -type f \! -regex ".*\.svn.*"

And we can now search and replace in all files except those that have “.svn” in them:

find . -type f \! -regex ".*\.svn.*" -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i "s/foo/bar/"

Neat. Note that, again, -regex is a GNU find only construct.

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