How to ignore certain filenames using “find”


One of my favorite BASH commands is:

find . -name '*.*' -exec grep 'SearchString' {} /dev/null \;

which searches the contents of all of the files at and below the current directory for the specified SearchString. As a developer, this has come in handy at times.

Due to my current project, and the structure of my codebase, however, I'd like to make this BASH command even more advanced by not searching any files that are in or below a directory that contains ".svn", or any files that end with ".html"

The MAN page for find kind of confused me though. I tried using -prune, and it gave me strange behavior. In an attempt to skip only the .html pages (to start), I tried :

find . -wholename './*.html' -prune -exec grep 'SearchString' {} /dev/null \;

and did not get the behavior I was hoping for. I think I might be missing the point of -prune. Could you guys help me out?


Best Answer

You can use the negate (!) feature of find to not match files with specific names:

find . ! -name '*.html' ! -path '*.svn*' -exec grep 'SearchString' {} /dev/null \;

So if the name ends in .html or contains .svn anywhere in the path, it will not match, and so the exec will not be executed.