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HowTo: grep All Sub-directory For Files

How do I grep all sub directories? How can I use grep command through all sub-directories on Linux or Unix like operating systems? How do I use grep to find pattern including all subdirectories on OS X/BSD/Unix-like operating systems?

grep command is used to search files. The basic syntax is:

Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesNo
Estimated completion time1m
grep 'word' file
grep 'word1 word2' file1 file2
grep [option] 'word1 word2' file1 file2

You can search all text files in the current directory with wild cards:

grep 'word-to-search' *

Search sub directories recursively using grep

Pass the -r option to grep command to search recursively through an entire directory tree. With this option one can search the current directory and and all levels of subdirectories by passing the -r or -R to the grep command. The syntax is:

grep -r 'word-to-search' *


grep -R 'word-to-search' *


For example, the following would search all files in the current directory and in all of its subdirectories for every line containing the word 'main()':

grep -r 'main()' *

The following example would search for /etc/ and all of its subdirectories for every line containing the ip address '':

grep -r '' /etc/
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