Grep For Text In All Files In A Directory

16th January 2013 - 1 minute read time

Searching all files in a directory and sub-directories for a particular term is really useful and comes in handy in all sorts of situations. It is available on all Linux systems and the basic syntax is as follows.

grep -r -i pattern directory

The -r flag is used to recursively search underneath the given directory and the -i flag is used to ignore case. The pattern is a normal regular expression, which can be changed to an extended set by using the -E flag.

An example of finding a search term in everything under the current directory would be like this.

grep -r -i searchterm ./

Remember that if you want to use regular expression characters then you'll need to escape them. For example, to find all PHP opening tags you will need to escape the grep -r -i \<\?php ./

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