This short tutorial teaches you how to find all files containing a specific text on Linux or macOS using either the command find or grep.
1. Why would you want to Find a Specific Text?
There are several reasons why you might want to find all files containing a specific text on a Linux or macOS system:
- Searching for specific information: If you need to find a specific piece of information contained within a file, searching for it using a text string can be much faster than manually opening and searching each file.
- Debugging: When debugging a program, you may want to find all instances of a specific error message or log entry.
- Code review: When reviewing code, you may want to find all instances of a specific function or piece of code.
- Data analysis: When analyzing data, you may want to find all instances of a specific pattern or set of values.
- File organization: If you have a large number of files and want to organize them based on the content, finding all files containing specific text can be a useful tool.
Regardless of the reason, finding all files containing a specific text can be accomplished using a number of command-line tools on Linux and macOS, such as “grep” and “find.” These tools allow you to quickly and efficiently search for the desired text across a large number of files, making it a valuable tool for any Linux or macOS user.
2. Find All Files Containing a Specific Text Using grep
Use the command below to find all files containing a specific substring (YOUR_TEXT_TO_FIND).
$ grep -Hrn YOUR_TEXT_TO_FIND *
3. Find All Files Containing Specific Text Using find
Besides the command grep itself, it can be combined with the command find to find substrings (YOUR_TEXT_TO_FIND).
$ find . -type f -print | xargs grep YOUR_TEXT_TO_FIND