GREP minimal tutorial

August 7, 2016

Grep command is used for searching the content of file returning the result.
  • Basic syntax: grep -in "search_term" filename
    • -n : gives the line-number of matching term in a file
    • -i : Ignore case
  • Search in directory: grep -nr search_term directory
    • -r : searches recursively in given directory
  • List all file with the search_term: grep -l "search_term" \*
    • -l : Input needs to be list of files
  • List all lines not/invert-match with the search_term: grep -nv "search_term" filename

  • List all file with the search_term in given directory: grep -lr search_term .
    • . represents current directory
  • Select only matches that exactly match the whole line: grep -xr tabular ..
    • .. represents the parent directory
  • Exclude certain dir: grep --exclude-dir "_site" -nr "search_text" ."

Bonus command:

  • Using find, xargs and grep for faster search: find . -iname *.py | xargs grep --color 'search-term'
    • It list all the python(.py) file and greps through each of the file
    • This is faster, if you’ve large directory to search and you know which type of file you need.
    • find and grep is powerful combination to use.


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