Charly's Column – find and fd

Article from Issue 241/2020

Fd is an uncomplicated find replacement that discovers lost treasures in the filesystem in next to no time. Charly would love to deploy an amazing tool like this in the analog world of his office.

I'm not very good at sorting things sensibly and then finding them again – both in my office and on my computers' filesystems. For the latter, at least I have electronic help in the form of tools like find and, more recently, fd.

The find command existed on Unix systems long before Linux was invented – in fact, it's older than most of the people who use it. On many of my systems, there is a directory named /test where I try things out. Anything that proves useful is sent to Git; the rest just hangs around gathering dust until the cron job in Listing 1 sweeps it away without write access after 365 days.

While doffing a hat to the now impressive power of the GNU implementation of find [1], you still sometimes find yourself wishing for a tool that can perhaps do a little less, but one that is more intuitive to use. This is where fd [2] jumps into the breach. The compact younger sibling of find, fd has already made its way into many distributions, but often only recently. In Ubuntu, it is available starting with version 19.04, for example.


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