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fd – Simple and Fast alternative to the find command

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  • Last Updated : 23 Aug, 2021

fd is a command-line tool to find files on the filesystem. This tool is similar to the find command in Linux, but fd is more fast and simple to use. It is not powerful as the find command but provides the basic functionality of the find command in simple ways. Let’s see the features of fd tool.


  • Simple syntax  i.e fd PATTERN
  • Support use of Regular expression
  • Uses  different colors to highlight different file types
  • By default, ignores hidden files and directories.
  • Ignore patterns from your .gitignore,
  • Fast output due to parallelized directory traversal.

Now let’s see the installation of fd tool


The fd tool is available on all package managers of Linux. Use one of the following commands according to your system to install fd tool:

For Debian/Ubuntu/Kali Linux:

sudo apt install fd-find

For Fedora:

sudo dnf install fd-find

For Alpine Linux

apk add fd

For Arch Linux:

pacman -S fd

For macOS with Homebrew:

brew install fd

For macOS with 

sudo port install fd

For Windows with Scoop

scoop install fd

For windows with Chocolatey:

choco install fd

For FreeBSD

 pkg install fd-find

To install fd using npm use the following command:

npm install -g fd-find


Now let’s see how to use the fd command.

Simple search with fd

The most basic file search with fd is to search a specific pattern with the fd command. To search pattern with fd command, just mention a pattern that should be part of the filename which we have to search. Here is one example:

find lvm

fd search for the provided pattern from the current directory recursively.

Regular expression search

Every quoted pattern is treated as a regular expression in the fd command. To find the files end with “se ” string use the following command

fd '.*s3$'

Specifying the root directory

If you want to search the file from the other directory as a source directory i.e the fd will start to search recursively from that mentioned folder. Here is one example:

fd profile /etc/

In the above command, we have provided the /etc/ as the root folder.

List all files recursively

To list all files recursively in the current directory, use the fd command.


To list all files in the other directory, use a catch-all pattern such as . or ^ mention the directory path:

fd . /src/

Searching for a  particular file extension

To search for the files having the specific file extensions use the -e option with fd and mention the file extension type.

find -e md

We can also use the -e option to find the specific pattern with the extension

fd -e js app

Searching for a particular file name

To search for exactly provided search pattern, use the -g or –glob option with fd command:

fd -g /usr

Hidden and ignored files

By default, the fd tool does not show the hidden files and directories. To search the pattern in hidden folders, use the –hidden options

fd -H pre-commit

If you are working with the git repository, then the fd will not folders that match in .gitingore files. To enable search in the folder and files in the .gitignore file, use the –no-ignore or -I option:

fd -I abbrev

Matching the full path

By default, the fd matched only the filenames with pattern to match the full path usings the -p or –full-path option:

Command execution

We can use the fd command to do more things other than just finding the pattern. We can also execute the commands with the fd command. There are two options provided by the fd to execute the command

  • -x / –exec : This option executes the command on each result generated by the fd command.
  • -X / –exec-batch: This option will execute one command only once.

Example with option -x:

To find and format the .cpp or .h files with the clang-format, we can use the following command:

fd -e h -e cpp -x clang-format -i

Example of option -X:

To open all files in the current directory in vim, use the following command:

fd  -X vim

Placeholder in Fd command

Placeholders in fd commands can be used to more efficiently handle the command with the -x option. Following is the command that is used to *.jpg files into the *.png  files.

fd -e jpg -x convert {} {.}.png

In the above command, {} is the placeholder which indicated search result and {.} this option is similar to the {} but {.} placeholder indicate search result without the file extension.

Following are the placeholders that can be used with -x or -X options:

  • {}: This is a placeholder that will be replaced with the path of the search result(files/profile.jpg).
  • {.}: This is a placeholder that will be replaced with the path of search result but without extension(files/profile)
  • {/}: This is a placeholder that will be replaced with the basename of the file (profile.jpg)
  • {//}: This is a placeholder that will be replaced with the parent discovered path(files/)
  • {/.}: This is a placeholder that will be replaced with the filename without the extension(profile)

Excluding specific files or directories

If you want to exclude the come result from the fd command, then use the option -E with fd command. To search all hidden files and exclude the .git directories, you can use the following command:

fd -H -E .git 

To exclude the mounted drives from the search, we can use the following command:

fd -E /mnt/external-drive …

To exclude files permanently  create the .fdignore file in the home directory and put files to be ignored in that file

touch  ~/.fdignore
echo  /mnt/external-drive >> ~/.fdignore

To exclude the files permanently with globally put the files to be ignored, put them into ~/.config/fd/ignore file.

Deleting files

To delete the files which have extension .cpp with the fd command in the current directory, we can use the following command

 fd -e cpp  -X rm

If you want to delete the files interactively then use the option -i with -X option

 fd -e cpp  -X rm -i

To know all options of fd command, use the –help option with fd command:

fd --help

To know more about the fd command, read the man page of fd .

man fd

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