How do I find all files containing specific text on Linux?

Do the following:

grep -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e 'pattern'

  • -r or -R is recursive,
  • -n is line number, and
  • -w stands for match the whole word.
  • -l (lower-case L) can be added to just give the file name of matching files.
  • -e is the pattern used during the search

Along with these, --exclude, --include, --exclude-dir flags could be used for efficient searching:

  • This will only search through those files which have .c or .h extensions:
grep --include=\*.{c,h} -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"

  • This will exclude searching all the files ending with .o extension:
grep --exclude=\*.o -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"

  • For directories it’s possible to exclude one or more directories using the --exclude-dir parameter. For example, this will exclude the dirs dir1/, dir2/ and all of them matching *.dst/:
grep --exclude-dir={dir1,dir2,*.dst} -rnw '/path/to/somewhere/' -e "pattern"

This works very well for me, to achieve almost the same purpose like yours.

For more options check man grep.

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