find recently modified files

To find the 10 newest items in your home directory you can just use ls.

# cd 
# ls -lt | head
total 1197116
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone        5353 2013-04-23 10:42 file1
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone        2945 2013-04-23 10:21 file2
drwxr-xr-x  2 fordodone     fordodone       12288 2013-04-12 08:53 bin
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone fordodone         0 2013-03-27 08:45 file3
-rw-------  1 fordodone fordodone     90420 2013-03-23 09:03 file4
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone          83 2013-03-19 10:35 file5
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone        8683 2013-03-15 10:26 file6
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone       28628 2013-03-15 09:15 file7
-rw-r--r--  1 fordodone     fordodone       81303 2013-03-15 09:15 file8

You could even get more aggressive by throwing the recursive flag in. Simple, right? But what if you need to recurse a large number of files and directories on a storage system, say 123,000 directories and 37 million files. I think find might be the way to go.

This will find files modified in the last 24 hours:

# find . -type f -mtime -1 -ls

find doesn’t really provide granular control of searching for files with a certain modified time. If you just want to find files that have been modified today (i.e. since 12am) we can use the -newer flag. First touch a temporary file with a timestamp to compare to files you want to find. In this case we make a date string of 04240000, or today at 00:00, and touch a file with that timestamp. Then use find to find files that are newer than the timestamp of the file you just touched.


# touch -t `date +%m%d0000` /tmp/compare
# find . -type f -newer /tmp/compare
(long output)
# rm /tmp/compare
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