Unix: Recursive search for text in files


Keep forgetting how to do this, so here it is. How to do a quick and simple, recursive search for text using grep. Hint: It's very simple.

$ grep -rl "some text" .

That's all there is to it! grep is the command, r makes the search recursive (i.e. in the target folder and all its sub-folders), l means it will list the name of all the files where it finds the text, "some text" is the string to search for, and finally, the dot at the end means to start the search in the current directory. And just to clarify, this searches for text inside of files, in the content of the files; not the filenames.

There, now I know where to find it when I forget it next time. And perhaps I have helped someone else too 🙂

Good night!