Linux/UNIX – power of find


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Recently I discovered that my files were either owned by the wrong user or that they did not have the correct permissions to do what was needed. I needed to consolidate all of these under one user and set all the files to the same permissions. The Linux/UNIX find command allowed me to first identify all those files as well as correct them.

To identify the files in question i.e. those now owned by “me” OR (-o) not owned by “mygroup” group.


$ find $HOME \( -not -owner me -o -not -group mygroup \) -ls

To identify the files that did not have a specific permission


$ find $HOME -not -perm 750 -ls

We could have also tried to find all files that are not owned by me or mygroup and with permissions that do not permit me to view i.e. others = read (Octal 4)


$ find $HOME \( -not -owner me -o -not -group mygroup \) -a -not -perm +004 -ls

Once we have correctly verified that these are the correct files and could be changed we issue the following commands:


$ find $HOME \( -not -owner me -o -not -group mygroup \) -exec chown my:mygroup {} \; -ls

and the permissions


$ find $HOME -not -perm 750 -exec chmod 750 {} \; -ls