grep surrounding context

Updated: 16 July 2023

Find tell in trans.sql and show 3 lines of context surrounding the result

grep -C 3 tell trans.sql

Show 3 context lines before and 2 lines after matches

grep -B 3 -A 2 bar index.php

Show --only-matching parts of the matching line

grep -o foo index.php

grep basic usage

Updated: 13 January 2023

Find all occurrences of foo in directories and files recursively, from the current directory

grep -irn --exclude-dir=dir --text foo *
-i: case insensitive
-r: recursive but don't follow symlinks
-n: show line number
--text: treat binary files as text

Interpret PATTERNS as --fixed-strings, not regular expressions

grep -F './dir/dir2' file.txt


Updated: 21 March 2024

Find directories with either foo or bar in their name

find . -type d \( -iname '*foo*' -or -iname '*bar*' \) | sort

Find files or directories with either lvim or lunarvim in their name

find . \( -iname '*lvim*' -or -iname '*lunarvim*' \)

Find files modified within the last 6hrs i.e. 0.25 of 1 day

find /home/chris -type f -mtime -0.25

Find files where name (case insensitive) matches ‘*.exe’

find ~/.nuget/packages -iname "*.exe"

Find directories where name starts with ‘site’

find . -type d -name 'site*'

Find any of the named files (risky, test first)

find this-dir -type f \( -name "foo" -o -name "bar" -o -name "log" \)

Find all files not in the git directory

find . -type f -not -path "./.git/*"


find uses ; or + to terminate the -exec command. Therefore \; must be used because ; is one of the operators (also && or ||) which separates shell commands.

Find files by text in the file.

find . -type f -name "*.java" -exec grep -il string {} \;

-i: ignore case
-l: show filenames, not the match.