Counting files and directories in Linux
March 20, 2020 ‐ 2 min read
wc command is one of the GNU coreutils available on Linux.
wc is meant to get the amount of newlines, words, bytes and characters in a file. By combining
find you can easily get the amount of files or directories in a directory.
Counting all files and directories
We can count all the files and directories in a directory by passing the output of
wc using a pipe(
|). To list one file per line we use the
-1 option for
koen@opensuse:~> ls -1 | wc -l 18
The example above only counts the visible directories and files. In order to include hidden files or directories we have to pass the
-a option to the
koen@opensuse:~> ls -1a | wc -l 24
Count files only
To just count the amount of files we can't just use the
ls command, since it doesn't make a distinction between files and directories. We can solve this with the
find command. The
find command is meant to, well.. find directories and files.
find command looks less straightforward than
ls. You need to specify a path, we use
. to find in our current working directory. Second we specify the maximum depth
find searches, we use 1 as an argument so
find will only list the contents of the current directory. To only search for files we have to specify the type
f. And finally, to exclude hidden files we filter out files starting with a dot.
To get the amount of files we pipe the output of the
find command to
wc and we get the amount of files in the current directory.
koen@opensuse:~> find . -maxdepth 1 -type f -name "[!.]*" | wc -l 14
Count directories only
The same trick as the example above can be used to count the directories. We have to change the argument for
d and it works.
koen@opensuse:~> find . -maxdepth 1 -type d -name "[!.]*" | wc -l 4