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9.28. Keeping find from Searching Networked Filesystem

The most painful aspect of a large NFS environment is avoiding the access of files on NFS servers that are down. find is particularly sensitive to this because it is very easy to access dozens of machines with a single command. If find tries to explore a file server that happens to be down, it will time out. It is important to understand how to prevent find from going too far.

To do this, use -xdev or -prune with -fstype, though, unfortunately, not all finds have all of these. -fstype tests for filesystem types and expects an argument like nfs, ufs, cd9660, or ext2fs. To limit find to files only on a local disk or disks, use the clause -fstype nfs -prune, or, if your find supports it, -fstype local.

To limit the search to one particular disk partition, use -xdev. For example, if you need to clear out a congested disk partition, you could look for all files bigger than 10 MB (10*1024*1024) on the disk partition containing /usr, using this command:

% find /usr -size +10485760c -xdev -print

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