A tool for finding files in the filesystem

alternative, command-line, fd, find, search, shell, terminal, tool
pip install find-ff==532




ff is a tool for finding files in the filesystem.

NOTE: ff is in the early stages of development, expect things to break and syntax to change.


ff lets you find files in the filesystem by querying file metadata. Its scope is similar to find(1) and fd(1) but it tries to be more accessible and easier to use than find and and more versatile and powerful than fd. It is written in Python >= 3.6.


  • Search by file attributes.
  • Search in a wide variety of file metadata.
  • Simple yet powerful expression syntax.
  • Flexible output options.
  • Flexible sort options.
  • Extendable by user plugins.
  • Parallel search and processing.
  • Usable in scripts with a Python API.


Store all files from the current directory that are tracked by git(1) in a tar(1) archive:

$ ff type=f git.tracked=yes --sort --exec-batch tar cvzf git-tracked.tar.gz

Find files in the directory Videos/ that end with .mkv or .mp4 and are between 720 and 1080 pixels high:

$ ff Videos/ {{ ext=mkv or ext=mp4 }} and {{ height+=720 and height-=1080 }}

More examples are here.


To build and install ff simply type:

$ python setup.py install


$ pip install find-ff

This installs the python sources, the ff script, the man page and a set of plugins.

Python API

You can use ff's query capabilities in your own scripts:

from libff.search import Search

for entry in Search("type=f git.tracked=yes", directories=["/home/user/project"], sort=["path"]):

Developing plugins and debug mode

There is a template for new plugins to start from (plugin_template.py) with exhaustive instructions and comments, so you can develop plugins for your own needs.

Useful in that regard is ff's debug mode. It can be activated by executing the libff module.

$ python -m libff --debug info,cache ...

Debug mode produces lots of messages which can be limited to certain categories using the --debug category1,category2,... option. On top of that, debug mode activates many internal checks using assert(). Therefore, it is advisable to use debug mode during plugin development.