Ubuntu – Delete all files except files with the extension pdf in a directory

bashcommand line

I have a directory that contains the following:


I want to delete all files apart from x.pdf and a.pdf. How do I do this from the terminal? There are no subdirectories so no need for any recursion.

Best Answer

cd <the directory you want>
find . -type f ! -iname "*.pdf" -delete
  • The first command will take you to the directory in which you want to delete your files
  • The second command will delete all files except with those ending with .pdf in filename

For example, if there is a directory called temp in your home folder:

cd ~/temp

then delete files:

find . -type f ! -iname "*.pdf" -delete

This will delete all files except xyz.pdf.

You can combine these two commands to:

find ~/temp -type f ! -iname "*.pdf" -delete

. is the current directory. ! means to take all files except the ones with .pdf at the end. -type f selects only files, not directories. -delete means to delete it.

NOTE: this command will delete all files (except pdf files but including hidden files) in current directory as well as in all sub-directories. ! must come before -name. simply -name will include only .pdf, while -iname will include both .pdf and .PDF

To delete only in current directory and not in sub-directories add -maxdepth 1:

find . -maxdepth 1 -type f ! -iname "*.pdf" -delete