[SOLVED] Recursively counting files in a Linux directory

Issue

How can I recursively count files in a Linux directory?

I found this:

find DIR_NAME -type f ¦ wc -l

But when I run this it returns the following error.

find: paths must precede expression: ¦

Solution

This should work:

find DIR_NAME -type f | wc -l

Explanation:

  • -type f to include only files.
  • | (and not ¦) redirects find command’s standard output to wc command’s standard input.
  • wc (short for word count) counts newlines, words and bytes on its input (docs).
  • -l to count just newlines.

Notes:

  • Replace DIR_NAME with . to execute the command in the current folder.
  • You can also remove the -type f to include directories (and symlinks) in the count.
  • It’s possible this command will overcount if filenames can contain newline characters.

Explanation of why your example does not work:

In the command you showed, you do not use the “Pipe” (|) to kind-of connect two commands, but the broken bar (¦) which the shell does not recognize as a command or something similar. That’s why you get that error message.

Answered By – paulsm4

Answer Checked By – David Goodson (BugsFixing Volunteer)

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