How to find all files with names containing a string on Linux?

LinuxOperating SystemOpen Source

In order to be able to find all files with names containing a string in Linux command line, we will make use of the grep command, and at first we must understand what a grep command is and how to use it on Linux.

The grep command in Linux is used to filter searches in a file for a particular pattern of characters. It is one of the most used Linux utility commands to display the lines that contain the pattern that we are trying to search.

Normally, the pattern that we are trying to search in the file is referred to as the regular expression.

Syntax

grep [options] pattern [files]

While there are plenty of different options available to us, some of the most used are −

-c : It lists only a count of the lines that match a pattern
-h : displays the matched lines only.
-i : Ignores, case for matching
-l : prints filenames only
-n : Display the matched lines and their line numbers.
-v : It prints out all the lines that do not match the pattern
-R : stands for recurse, would go into subdirectories as well.

Now, let’s consider a case where we want to find a particular pattern in all the files in a particular directory, say dir1.

Syntax

grep -rni "word" *

In the above command replace the “word” placeholder with

For that, we make use of the command shown below −

grep -rni "func main()" *

The above command will try to find a string “func main()” in all the files in a particular directory and also in the subdirectories as well.

Output

main.go:120:func main() {}

In case we only want to find a particular pattern in a single directory and not the subdirectories then we need to use the command shown below −

grep -s "func main()" *

In the above command we made use of the -s flag which will help us to not get a warning for each subdirectory that is present inside the directory where we are running the command.

Output

main.go:120:func main() {}

Example

Command

grep -R "apples" .

Output

immukul@192 linux-dir1% grep -R "apples" .

./d1/file.txt:apples
./d1/file.txt:applesauce
./d1/file.txt:applesnits
./d1/file.txt:dapples
./d1/file.txt:grapples
./d1/file.txt:mayapples
./d1/file.txt:pineapples
./d1/file.txt:sapples
./d1/file.txt:scrapples
./d2/2.txt:orange apples is great together
./d2/2.txt:apples nto great
./d2/2.txt:is apples good
raja
Published on 29-Jul-2021 11:56:55
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