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#47 in Command line utilities

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MIT/Apache and GPL-2.0-or-later

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Find files with SQL-like queries

Crates.io build

Why use fselect?

While it doesn't tend to fully replace traditional find and ls, fselect has these nice features:

  • SQL-like (not real SQL, but highly relaxed!) grammar easily understandable by humans
  • complex queries
  • aggregate, statistics, date, and other functions
  • search within archives
  • .gitignore, .hgignore, and .dockerignore support (experimental)
  • search by width and height of images, EXIF metadata
  • search by MP3 info
  • search by extended file attributes
  • search by file hashes
  • search by MIME type
  • shortcuts to common file types
  • interactive mode
  • various output formatting (CSV, JSON, and others)

More is under way!


Latest release from source

  • Install Rust with Cargo and its dependencies to build a binary
  • Run cargo install fselect

Arch Linux

AUR package, thanks to @asm0dey


fselect in nixpkgs, thanks to @filalex77

Other Linux

Static build with musl.

Windows 64bit

A statically precompiled binary is available at Github downloads.

Windows via Chocolatey

Windows via Scoop

  • Install Scoop
  • Run scoop install fselect

Mac via Homebrew

  • Install brew
  • Run brew install fselect

Mac via MacPorts

  • Install MacPorts
  • Run:
    sudo port selfupdate
    sudo port install fselect


fselect [ARGS] COLUMN[, COLUMN...] [from ROOT[, ROOT...]] [where EXPR] [order by COLUMNS] [limit N] [into FORMAT]

Interactive mode

fselect -i


More detailed description. Look at examples first.


Find temporary or config files (full path and size):

fselect size, path from /home/user where name = '*.cfg' or name = '*.tmp'

Windows users may omit the quotes:

fselect size, path from C:\Users\user where name = *.cfg or name = *.tmp

Or put all the arguments into the quotes like this:

fselect "name from /home/user/tmp where size > 0"

Find files (just names) with any content (size > 0):

fselect name from /home/user/tmp where size gt 0

Specify file size, get absolute path, and add it to the results:

cd /home/user
fselect size, abspath from ./tmp where size gt 2g
fselect fsize, abspath from ./tmp where size = 5m
fselect hsize, abspath from ./tmp where size lt 8k

More complex query:

fselect "name from /tmp where (name = *.tmp and size = 0) or (name = *.cfg and size > 1000000)"

Aggregate functions (you can use curly braces if you want, and even combine them with the regular parentheses):

fselect "MIN(size), MAX{size}, AVG(size), SUM{size}, COUNT(*) from /home/user/Downloads"

Formatting functions:

fselect "LOWER(name), UPPER(name), LENGTH(name), YEAR(modified) from /home/user/Downloads"

Get the year of an oldest file:

fselect "MIN(YEAR(modified)) from /home/user"

Use single quotes if you need to address files with spaces:

fselect "path from '/home/user/Misc stuff' where name != 'Some file'"

Regular expressions of Rust flavor are supported:

fselect name from /home/user where path =~ '.*Rust.*'

Negate regular expressions:

fselect "name from . where path !=~ '^\./config'"

Simple globs expand automatically and work with = and != operators:

fselect name from /home/user where path = '*Rust*'

Classic LIKE:

fselect "path from /home/user where name like '%report-2018-__-__???'"

Exact match operators to search with regexps disabled:

fselect "path from /home/user where name === 'some_*_weird_*_name'"

Find files by date:

fselect path from /home/user where created = 2017-05-01
fselect path from /home/user where modified = today
fselect path from /home/user where accessed = yesterday
fselect "path from /home/user where modified = 'apr 1'"
fselect "path from /home/user where modified = 'last fri'"

Be more specific to match all files created at interval between 3PM and 4PM:

fselect path from /home/user where created = '2017-05-01 15'

And even more specific:

fselect path from /home/user where created = '2017-05-01 15:10'
fselect path from /home/user where created = '2017-05-01 15:10:30'

Date and time intervals possible (find everything updated since May 1st):

fselect path from /home/user where modified gte 2017-05-01

Default is current directory:

fselect path, size where name = '*.jpg'

Search within multiple locations:

fselect path from /home/user/oldstuff, /home/user/newstuff where name = '*.jpg'

With minimum and/or maximum depth specified (depth is a synonym for maxdepth):

fselect path from /home/user/oldstuff depth 5 where name = '*.jpg'
fselect path from /home/user/oldstuff mindepth 2 maxdepth 5, /home/user/newstuff depth 10 where name = '*.jpg'

Optionally follow symlinks:

fselect path, size from /home/user symlinks where name = '*.jpg'

Search within archives (currently only zip-archives are supported):

fselect path, size from /home/user archives where name = '*.jpg'

Or in combination:

fselect size, path from /home/user depth 5 archives symlinks where name = '*.jpg' limit 100

Enable .gitignore or .hgignore support:

fselect size, path from /home/user/projects gitignore where name = '*.cpp'
fselect size, path from /home/user/projects hgignore where name = '*.py'        

Search by image dimensions:

fselect CONCAT(width, 'x', height), path from /home/user/photos where width gte 2000 or height gte 2000

Find square images:

fselect path from /home/user/Photos where width = height

Find images with a known name part but unknown extension:

fselect path from /home/user/projects where name = "*RDS*" and width gte 1

Find old-school rap MP3 files:

fselect duration, path from /home/user/music where genre = Rap and bitrate = 320 and mp3_year lt 2000  

Shortcuts to common file extensions:

fselect path from /home/user where is_archive = true
fselect path, mime from /home/user where is_audio = 1
fselect path, mime from /home/user where is_book != false

Even simpler way of using boolean columns:

fselect path from /home/user where is_doc
fselect path from /home/user where is_image
fselect path from /home/user where is_video

Find files with dangerous permissions:

fselect mode, path from /home/user where other_write or other_exec
fselect mode, path from /home/user where other_all

Simple glob-like expressions or even regular expressions on file mode are possible:

fselect mode, path from /home/user where mode = '*rwx'
fselect mode, path from /home/user where mode =~ '.*rwx$'

Find files by owner's uid or gid:

fselect uid, gid, path from /home/user where uid != 1000 or gid != 1000

Or by owner's or group's name:

fselect user, group, path from /home/user where user = mike or group = mike

Find special files:

fselect name from /usr/bin where suid
fselect path from /tmp where is_pipe
fselect path from /tmp where is_socket

Find files with xattrs, check if particular xattr exists, or get its value:

fselect "path, has_xattrs, has_xattr(user.test), xattr(user.test) from /home/user"

Include arbitrary text as columns:

fselect "name, ' has size of ', size, ' bytes'"

Order results:

fselect path from /tmp order by size desc, name
fselect modified, fsize, path from ~ order by 1 desc, 3

Finally limit the results:

fselect name from /home/user/samples limit 5 

Format output:

fselect size, path from /home/user limit 5 into json
fselect size, path from /home/user limit 5 into csv
fselect size, path from /home/user limit 5 into html



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~340K SLoC