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How do I find all files containing specific text on Linux?

分类 : 互动问答 | 发布时间 : 2013-06-06 16:06:45 | 评论 : 30 | 浏览 : 4789263 | 喜欢 : 3851

I'm trying to find a way to scan my entire Linux system for all files containing a specific string of text. Just to clarify, I'm looking for text within the file, not in the file name.

When I was looking up how to do this, I came across this solution twice:

find / -type f -exec grep -H 'text-to-find-here' {} \;

However, it doesn't work. It seems to display every single file in the system.

Is this close to the proper way to do it? If not, how should I? This ability to find text strings in files would be extraordinarily useful for some programming projects I'm doing.

回答(30)

  • 1楼
  • Do the following:

    grep -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e 'pattern'
    
    • -r or -R is recursive,
    • -n is line number, and
    • -w stands for match the whole word.
    • -l (lower-case L) can be added to just give the file name of matching files.

    Along with these, --exclude, --include, --exclude-dir flags could be used for efficient searching:

    • This will only search through those files which have .c or .h extensions:

      grep --include=\*.{c,h} -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"
      
    • This will exclude searching all the files ending with .o extension:

      grep --exclude=*.o -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"
      
    • For directories it's possible to exclude a particular directory(ies) through --exclude-dir parameter. For example, this will exclude the dirs dir1/, dir2/ and all of them matching *.dst/:

      grep --exclude-dir={dir1,dir2,*.dst} -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"
      

    This works very well for me, to achieve almost the same purpose like yours.

    For more options check man grep.

  • 2楼
  • You can use grep -ilR:

    grep -Ril "text-to-find-here" /
    
    • i stands for ignore case (optional in your case).
    • R stands for recursive.
    • l stands for "show the file name, not the result itself".
    • / stands for starting at the root of your machine.
  • 3楼
  • You can use ack. It is like grep for source code. You can scan your entire file system with it.

    Just do:

    ack 'text-to-find-here'
    

    In your root directory.

    You can also use regular expressions, specify the filetype, etc.


    UPDATE

    I just discovered The Silver Searcher, which is like ack but 3-5x faster than it and even ignores patterns from a .gitignore file.

  • 4楼
  • You can use:

    grep -r "string to be searched"  /path/to/dir
    

    The r stands for recursive and so will search in the path specified and also its sub-directories. This will tell you the file name as well as print out the line in the file where the string appears.

    Or a command similar to the one you are trying (example: ) for searching in all javascript files (*.js):

    find . -name '*.js' -exec grep -i 'string to search for' {} \; -print
    

    This will print the lines in the files where the text appears, but it does not print the file name.

    In addition to this command, we can write this too: grep -rn "String to search" /path/to/directory/or/file -r: recursive search n: line number will be shown for matches

  • 5楼
  • You can use this:

    grep -inr "Text" folder/to/be/searched/
    
  • 6楼
  • List of file names containing a given text

    First of all, I believe you have used -H instead of -l. Also you can try adding the text inside quotes followed by {} \.

    find / -type f -exec grep -l "text-to-find-here" {} \; 
    

    Example

    Let's say you are searching for files containing specific text "Apache License" inside your directory. It will display results somewhat similar to below (output will be different based on your directory content).

    bash-4.1$ find . -type f -exec grep -l "Apache License" {} \; 
    ./net/java/jvnet-parent/5/jvnet-parent-5.pom
    ./commons-cli/commons-cli/1.3.1/commons-cli-1.3.1.pom
    ./io/swagger/swagger-project/1.5.10/swagger-project-1.5.10.pom
    ./io/netty/netty-transport/4.1.7.Final/netty-transport-4.1.7.Final.pom
    ./commons-codec/commons-codec/1.9/commons-codec-1.9.pom
    ./commons-io/commons-io/2.4/commons-io-2.4.pom
    bash-4.1$ 
    

    Remove case sensitiveness

    Even if you are not use about the case like "text" vs "TEXT", you can use the -i switch to ignore case. You can read further details here.

    Hope this helps you.

  • 7楼
  • If your grep doesn't support recursive search, you can combine find with xargs:

    find / -type f | xargs grep 'text-to-find-here'
    

    I find this easier to remember than the format for find -exec.

    This will output the filename and the content of the matched line, e.g.

    /home/rob/file:text-to-find-here
    

    Optional flags you may want to add to grep:

    • -i - case insensitive search
    • -l - only output the filename where the match was found
    • -h - only output the line which matched (not the filename)
  • 8楼
  • grep -insr "pattern" *
    
    • i: Ignore case distinctions in both the PATTERN and the input files.
    • n: Prefix each line of output with the 1-based line number within its input file.
    • s: Suppress error messages about nonexistent or unreadable files.
    • r: Read all files under each directory, recursively.
  • 9楼
  • grep (GNU or BSD)

    You can use grep tool to search recursively the current folder, like:

    grep -r "class foo" .
    

    Note: -r - Recursively search subdirectories.

    You can also use globbing syntax to search within specific files such as:

    grep "class foo" **/*.c
    

    Note: By using globbing option (**), it scans all the files recursively with specific extension or pattern. To enable this syntax, run: shopt -s globstar. You may also use **/*.* for all files (excluding hidden and without extension) or any other pattern.

    If you've the error that your argument is too long, consider narrowing down your search, or use find syntax instead such as:

    find . -name "*.php" -execdir grep -nH --color=auto foo {} ';'
    

    Alternatively use ripgrep.

    ripgrep

    If you're working on larger projects or big files, you should use ripgrep instead, like:

    rg "class foo" .
    

    Checkout the docs, installation steps or source code on the GitHub project page.

    It's much quicker than any other tool like GNU/BSD grep, ucg, ag, sift, ack, pt or similar, since it is built on top of Rust's regex engine which uses finite automata, SIMD and aggressive literal optimizations to make searching very fast.

    It supports ignore patterns specified in .gitignore files, so a single file path can be matched against multiple glob patterns simultaneously.


    You can use the common parameters such as:

    • -i - Insensitive searching.
    • -I - Ignore the binary files.
    • -w - Search for the whole words (in opposite of partial word matching).
    • -n - Show the line of your match.
    • -C/--context (e.g. -C5) - Increases context, so you see the surrounding code .
    • --color=auto - Mark up the matching text.
    • -H - Displays filename where the text is found.
    • -c - Displays count of matching lines. Can be combined with -H.
  • 10楼
  • Try:

    find . -name "*.txt" | xargs grep -i "text_pattern"
    
  • 11楼
  • Use pwd to search from any directory you are in, recursing downward

    grep -rnw `pwd` -e "pattern"
    

    Update Depending on the version of grep you are using, you can omit pwd. On newer versions . seems to be the default case for grep if no directory is given thus:

    grep -rnw -e "pattern"

    or

    grep -rnw "pattern"

    will do the same thing as above!

  • 12楼
  • There's a new utility called The Silversearcher

    sudo apt install silversearcher-ag
    

    It works closely with Git and other VCS. So you won't get anything in a .git or another directory.

    You can simply use

    ag -ia "Search query"
    

    And it will do the task for you!

  • 13楼
  • grep can be used even if we're not looking for a string.

    Simply running,

    grep -RIl "" .
    

    will print out the path to all text files, i.e. those containing only printable characters.

  • 14楼
  • How do I find all files containing specific text on Linux? (...)

    I came across this solution twice:

    find / -type f -exec grep -H 'text-to-find-here' {} \;


    If using find like in your example, better add -s (--no-messages) to grep, and 2>/dev/null at the end of the command to avoid lots of Permission denied messages issued by grep and find:

    find / -type f -exec grep -sH 'text-to-find-here' {} \; 2>/dev/null
    

    find is the standard tool for searching files - combined with grep when looking for specific text - on Unix-like platforms. The find command is often combined with xargs, by the way.

    Faster and easier tools exist for the same purpose - see below. Better try them, provided they're available on your platform, of course:

    Faster and easier alternatives

    RipGrep - fastest search tool around:

    rg 'text-to-find-here' / -l
    

    The Silver Searcher:

    ag 'text-to-find-here' / -l
    

    ack:

    ack 'text-to-find-here' / -l
    

    Note: You can add 2>/dev/null to these commands as well, to hide many error messages.


    Warning: unless you really can't avoid it, don't search from '/' (the root directory) to avoid a long and inefficient search! So in the examples above, you'd better replace '/' by a sub-directory name, e.g. "/home" depending where you actually want to search...

  • 15楼
  • Here are the several list of commands that can be used to search file.

    grep "text string to search” directory-path
    
    grep [option] "text string to search” directory-path
    
    grep -r "text string to search” directory-path
    
    grep -r -H "text string to search” directory-path
    
    egrep -R "word-1|word-2” directory-path
    
    egrep -w -R "word-1|word-2” directory-path
    
  • 16楼
  • find /path -type f -exec grep -l "string" {} \;
    

    Explanation from comments

    find is a command that lets you find files and other objects like directories and links in subdirectories of a given path. If you don't specify a mask that filesnames should meet, it enumerates all directory objects.

    -type f specifies that it should proceed only files, not directories etc.
    -exec grep specifies that for every found file, it should run grep command, passing its filename as an argument to it, by replacing {} with the filename
    
  • 17楼
  • Hope this is of assistance...

    Expanding the grep a bit to give more information in the output, for example, to get the line number in the file where the text is can be done as follows:

    find . -type f -name "*.*" -print0 | xargs --null grep --with-filename --line-number --no-messages --color --ignore-case "searthtext"
    

    And if you have an idea what the file type is you can narrow your search down by specifying file type extensions to search for, in this case .pas OR .dfm files:

    find . -type f \( -name "*.pas" -o -name "*.dfm" \) -print0 | xargs --null grep --with-filename --line-number --no-messages --color --ignore-case "searchtext"
    

    Short explanation of the options:

    1. . in the find specifies from the current directory.
    2. -name "*.*" : for all files ( -name "*.pas" -o -name "*.dfm" ) : Only the *.pas OR *.dfm files, OR specified with -o
    3. -type f specifies that you are looking for files
    4. -print0 and --null on the other side of the | (pipe) are the crucial ones, passing the filename from the find to the grep embedded in the xargs, allowing for the passing of filenames WITH spaces in the filenames, allowing grep to treat the path and filename as one string, and not break it up on each space.
  • 18楼
  • Try:

    find / -type f -exec grep -H 'text-to-find-here' {} \;
    

    which will search all file systems, because / is the root folder.

    For home folder use:

    find ~/ -type f -exec grep -H 'text-to-find-here' {} \;
    

    For current folder use:

    find ./ -type f -exec grep -H 'text-to-find-here' {} \;
    
  • 19楼
  • A Simple find can work handy. alias it in your ~/.bashrc file:

    alias ffind find / -type f | xargs grep
    

    Start a new terminal and issue:

    ffind 'text-to-find-here'
    
  • 20楼
  • I wrote a Python script which does something similar. This is how one should use this script.

    ./sniff.py path pattern_to_search [file_pattern]
    

    The first argument, path, is the directory in which we will search recursively. The second argument, pattern_to_search, is a regular expression which we want to search in a file. We use the regular expression format defined in the Python re library. In this script, the . also matches newline.

    The third argument, file_pattern, is optional. This is another regular expression which works on a filename. Only those files which matches this regular expression will be considered.

    For example, if I want to search Python files with the extension py containing Pool( followed by word Adaptor, I do the following,

    ./sniff.py . "Pool(.*?Adaptor"  .*py
    ./Demos/snippets/cubeMeshSigNeur.py:146 
    ./Demos/snippets/testSigNeur.py:259 
    ./python/moose/multiscale/core/mumbl.py:206 
    ./Demos/snippets/multiComptSigNeur.py:268 
    

    And voila, it generates the path of matched files and line number at which the match was found. If more than one match was found, then each line number will be appended to the filename.

  • 21楼
  • Silver Searcher is a terrific tool, but ripgrep may be even better.

    It works on Linux, Mac and Windows, and was written up on Hacker News a couple of months ago (this has a link to Andrew Gallant's Blog which has a GitHub link):

    Ripgrep – A new command line search tool

  • 22楼
  • Use:

    grep -c Your_Pattern *
    

    This will report how many copies of your pattern are there in each of the files in the current directory.

  • 23楼
  • To search for the string and output just that line with the search string:

    for i in $(find /path/of/target/directory -type f); do grep -i "the string to look for" "$i"; done
    

    e.g.:

    for i in $(find /usr/share/applications -type f); \
    do grep -i "web browser" "$i"; done
    

    To display filename containing the search string:

    for i in $(find /path/of/target/directory -type f); do if grep -i "the string to look for" "$i" > /dev/null; then echo "$i"; fi; done;
    

    e.g.:

    for i in $(find /usr/share/applications -type f); \
    do if grep -i "web browser" "$i" > /dev/null; then echo "$i"; \
    fi; done;
    
  • 24楼
  • The below command will work fine for this approach:

    find ./ -name "file_pattern_name"  -exec grep -r "pattern" {} \;
    
  • 25楼
  • grep is your good friend to achieve this.

    grep -r <text_fo_find> <directory>
    

    if you don't care about the case of the text to find then use

    grep -ir <text_to_find> <directory>
    
  • 26楼
  • Avoid the hassle and install ack-grep. It eliminates a lot of permission and quotation issues.

    apt-get install ack-grep
    

    Then go to the directory you want to search and run the command below

    cd /
    ack-grep "find my keyword"
    
  • 27楼
  • Try this:

    find . | xargs grep 'word' -sl
    
  • 28楼
  • You can use below command as you don't want file name but you want to search from all the files. Here are i am capturing "TEXT" form All the log files making sure that file name is not printed

    grep -e TEXT *.log | cut -d' ' --complement -s -f1
    

    grep with -e option is quite quick compared to other option as it is for PATTERN match

  • 29楼
  • There is an ack tool that would do exactly what you are looking for.

    http://linux.die.net/man/1/ack

    ack -i search_string folder_path/*
    

    You may ignore -i for case sensitive search

  • 30楼
  • All previous answers suggest grep and find. But there is another way: Use midnight commander

    It is a free utility (30 years old, proven by time) which is visual without being GUI. Has tons of functions, finding files is just one of them.

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