Thursday, 30 November 2023   |

How to Search Text or String in Files on Linux

To search for text or strings within files on Linux, you can use the `grep` command. `grep` stands for "global regular expression print" and is a powerful tool for searching patterns in files.

Here's the basic syntax to search for text in files using `grep`:

grep [options] pattern [file...]

Let's break it down:

- `[options]`: You can use various options with `grep` to modify its behavior. Some commonly used options include:
  - `-i` or `--ignore-case`: Ignore case distinctions in both the pattern and input files.
  - `-r` or `-R` or `--recursive`: Search files recursively in subdirectories.
  - `-n` or `--line-number`: Show line numbers along with matched lines.
- `pattern`: The text or regular expression you want to search for.
- `[file...]`: Optional. Specify the file(s) you want to search within. If not provided, `grep` will search the standard input.

Here are a few examples to illustrate its usage:

1. Search for a specific string in a single file:
   grep "search_text" file.txt

2. Search for a pattern in multiple files:
   grep "pattern" file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt

3. Search recursively in a directory and its subdirectories:
   grep -r "pattern" /path/to/directory

4. Ignore case and display line numbers for matches:
   grep -i -n "pattern" file.txt

These are just a few examples of how you can use `grep` to search for text or strings in files on Linux. `grep` provides many more options and supports regular expressions, allowing for more advanced and flexible searching. You can refer to the `grep` manual (`man grep`) for detailed information on its usage and options.

Date: 20 June 2023    Comments: 0

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