Finding all files containing a text string on Linux

grep -rnw '/path/to/docs/' -e "pattern"

  • -r or -R is recursive,
  • -n is line number, and
  • -w stands match the whole word.
  • -l (lower-case L) can be added to just give the file name of matching files.
  • Along with these, --exclude or --include parameter could be used for efficient searching.

Recursive grep for words in a particular file type

The most portable and efficient recommendation is:



grep is a Unix command used to search files for the occurrence of a string of characters that matches a specified pattern.

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