tag 40903 notabug

On 4/27/20 9:25 AM, Jim Clark wrote:

I found the ls command when used with a pattern does not search recursively.

ls -R *.pdf
only searches the current directory and not recursively.

You are forgetting that globs expand prior to invoking ls. What you have invoked is something like:

ls -R a.pdf b.pdf

which says to recursively list all files starting with a.pdf or b.pdf, and descending if any of those files are a directory, but neither a.pdf nor b.pdf is a directory, so there is nothing to descend into.

Instead of trying to mess with how globbing interacts with ls, you are better off learning how to use 'find', which does recursion and filtering as its primary goal. In this case, you would use:

find . -name '*.pdf'

which gives you a recursive listing of all directories under '.', then filters it out to files ending in .pdf.

As the action of globbing is done by your shell and not by ls, there is nothing to change in coreutils, so I'm closing this as not a bug. But feel free to respond with further questions on the topic.

Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3226
Virtualization:  qemu.org | libvirt.org

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